Homeless Dogs in Romania Show How to Cross Streets Properly

February 16, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. pedestrian 
[puh-DES-tree-uhn] (n.) – a person who moves on foot
ExamplePedestrians should check for moving cars before crossing the street.

2. spearhead [SPEER-hed] (v.) – to start or to lead an activity
Example: Alison spearheaded the project after sharing her plans to other team members.

3. jaywalking [JEY-wawk] (n.) – the act of crossing the streets without obeying traffic rules
Example: The police charged the person with jaywalking for crossing the street even when cars are moving.

4. instinctively [in-STINGK-tiv-lee] (adv.) – in a manner of doing something without thinking
Example: My sister instinctively ran back to the sidewalk upon seeing the fast-moving cars.

5. euthanasia [yoo-thuh-NEY-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh] (n.) – the act of killing someone or something to end his/her or its suffering
Example: Pro-life activists are against euthanasia.

Read the text below.

As part of a new safety campaign, the Romanian traffic police used homeless dogs to encourage pedestrians to cross the street through pedestrian lanes.

The television campaign, with the message “If they can do it, then everyone can do it – cross on pedestrian crossings!” presented a short video of dogs crossing the streets in some Romanian cities. The video also showed people that animals can obey street rules like humans do, said Romania’s traffic police chief.

Semida Duriga, Next Advertising agency’s director, spearheaded this campaign, saying that she was very surprised that a lot of people died or were injured because of jaywalking. Although dogs did not understand traffic safety rules, they instinctively knew that following the rules would be safer, Duriga added.

According to the police, 360 people died and around 1,200 got injured in Romania last year because of disobedience to pedestrian rules.

Homeless animals increased in 1980s when a communist dictator ordered to replace old residential streets with new apartments, which then forced homeowners to abandon their pets. Around 40,000 dogs now live in the streets of Bucharest, Romania’s capital.

Romania practiced euthanasia on dogs from 2001 to 2007, but the number of homeless dogs remained high. A bill that lets authorities kill homeless dogs was also proposed last year, but the Romanian court disapproved it.

To help care for homeless dogs, animal rights groups and dog lovers feed and vaccinate these animals regularly.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think some people do not follow traffic and pedestrian rules?
·         How can we encourage people to cross the street properly?

Discussion B

·         Are there a lot of homeless dogs in your area? Why is that so?
·         How can people lessen the number of homeless dogs?


February 16, 2013