Stray Dogs Offered as Pedestrian Role Models

A stray dog walks along a crosswalk in Bucharest, Romania.

Stray dogs seen traversing pedestrian crossings are being used by the Romanian traffic police in a new safety campaign to convince pedestrians to be more careful when crossing the road.

"If they can do it, then everyone can do it -- cross on pedestrian crossings!", says the short TV spot while showing several stray dogs using zebra and pelican crossings.

The dogs were filmed in several Romanian cities.

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"They send us an extraordinary message showing that animals can respect important safety rules," Lucian Dinita, Romania's traffic police chief, said.

The example of stray dogs could prove crucial in a country where 360 people died last year because of "pedestrian lack of discipline," according to the police.

More than 1,200 were injured for the same reason.

"I was shocked when I realized how many people died in road accidents just because they did not cross on crosswalks," Semida Duriga, the director of Next Advertising agency, said.

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Duriga was the one who conceived the campaign.

"I thought of what you often see in Bucharest: dogs crossing at crosswalks or waiting for traffic lights to turn red for cars before crossing," she added.

"These stray dogs did not get education on traffic safety but they instinctively perceive that to do so is safer," Duriga explained.

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