Studies have shown walking is good for your health. I walk every morning in a huge park near my niece’s Atlanta house. I use a small crosswalk without traffic lights to cross a road. Motorists always stop to let me cross because pedestrians have the right of way in the US. A crosswalk is an American word for pedestrian crossing. The expression “right of way” can apply to pedestrians or vehicles. Pedestrians have right of way at crosswalks without traffic lights, which means vehicles must stop for them. Motorists have right of way when there is a green light for them.
Recent media reports said the police fined nearly 1,800 pedestrians for jaywalking. To jaywalk means to cross a road where it is not allowed or to cross when pedestrians have a red light. The reports said 71 people were killed in the first eight months of this year, mostly jaywalkers. A quarter were elderly people. Police officers are right to fine jaywalkers because it can be dangerous to jaywalk. But I have a beef against the Transport Department. The word “beef” used this way does not mean meat from a cow. It means a strong complaint.
I often beefed about the Transport Department when I lived in Hong Kong because the green light for pedestrians to cross busy roads lasts just seconds but the green light for vehicles lasts several minutes. Some pedestrians get impatient and jaywalk. That’s why so many pedestrians get killed. Aside from safety campaigns for pedestrians, the government should also have campaigns asking drivers to be careful at pedestrian crossings even if they have a green light.
研究顯示，步行對健康有益。在亞特蘭大我侄女的住處附近，每個早上我都會在一個偌大的公園裏散步。我會在一個沒有交通燈的細小過路處（crosswalk）過馬路。駕車司機總會願意讓我過馬路，因為在美國，行人有道路優先使用權（the right of way）。 A crosswalk是行人過路處的美式說法。習語“right of way”可以應用於行人或者車輛。行人在沒有交通燈的過路處（crosswalks）有right of way，即在這裏車輛必須停下，讓路予行人。如果車行綠燈亮起，駕駛者就有道路優先使用權（right of way）。
最近有媒體報道說，警方給接近一千八百名亂過馬路（jaywalking）的行人開了罰單。 To jaywalk的意思就是在不許過馬路的地方或是行人紅燈亮起的時候過馬路。報道指，今年首八個月，有七十一人於交通意外中身亡，大部分是亂過馬路的人（jaywalkers），當中有四分一是長者。警員給亂過馬路的人（jaywalkers）開罰單是正確的，因為亂過馬路（jaywalk）着實危險。但我對於運輸署也要發牢騷（beef）。Beef在這裏並不是指牛肉，它是指強烈的投訴。