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Zebra-painted horses walk intersections

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Hum    6,933

Russia-Safe-Traffic_Gree_20100903080037_640_480.JPG

MOSCOW (AP) - A peculiar sight greeted drivers in Moscow on Friday: zebras walking back and forth across some of the city's busiest intersections.

It was part of a police campaign to call attention to the importance of crosswalks, known as zebra crossings, which are routinely ignored in the Russian capital, contributing to the horrific number of pedestrians who are mowed down by cars.

The drivers who slowed down, and there were some, might have noticed that the zebras were actually light gray horses painted with black stripes. On their backs they carried yellow signs reading: "Careful, children are on their way to school."

Drivers are aggressive and impatient in fast-paced Moscow, where it's not unusual to see cars zipping down sidewalks or blowing through red lights. Crosswalks often exist only in theory, with drivers explaining that it is too risky to stop because the car behind them is unlikely to extend the courtesy.

In the first six months of this year, 378 people were killed and more than 6,600 injured on pedestrian crossings in Russia, according to police. In Moscow alone, 43 people were killed, including two children.

Anyone who has sat behind the wheel in Moscow knows that pedestrians are a big part of the problem, often darting across multi-laned avenues or stepping off curbs without bothering to look left or right.

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Growled    3,880

I doubt if this will help.

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