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Red Light, Green Light: Ethical Choices at Street Level


Tablet Magazine, 11/12/14

In September 2008 I made a personal decision, a commitment born of soul-searching before the Jewish New Year: I would no longer jaywalk or cross against a red light.

I had been reading reports that traffic deaths in my home city of New York had dropped during the previous year. When I divided the total number of fatalities by 12, it became clear that the reports were viewing “only” 23 traffic deaths per month as evidence of progress.

I probed further and discovered that there had been 10 times as many traffic fatalities in the State of Israel since 1948 as deaths from terrorist attacks. Something was terribly wrong. What could I do about it—immediately and continually? (...) Read more