When you're walking across the street and over those wide white painted marks designating a crosswalk, does that make you think of zebras? Well police in Russia are hoping that automobile drivers can put two-and-two together when they see a horse painted as a zebra crossing the streets of busy Moscow.

According to BBC News Europe, the Russian police originally wanted to use exotic zebras for their campaign, but when none were available, they decided that white horses painted with black stripes worked just as well (you can see the photo in the article). Officers parade the disguised horses over the street crossings to force motorists to slow down and stop, and read safety messages.

Safety is a major concern on Russian highways, as thousands of pedestrians are killed each year. Official figures show that in just the first six months of 2010, approximately 378 pedestrians were killed and 6,684 injured at pedestrian crossing. The zebra crossing campaign was launched to reduce those numbers, however official numbers from the start of the program are unavailable right now.

This makes me think of the times I used to lead or ride my horse down the road towards a family friend's farm to use their arena. My parents' farm is out in the country, so you'd think the roads were safe. But apparently, to the "city folk," that means you can automatically speed down country roads. You knew a fellow horseman or a fellow farmer just by the way they'd slow down and give you a good amount of distance as they passed. I still do the same when I drive through cities with horses pulling carriages or police horses. Heck, I do it for people on the bike or just running down the road--it's called courtesy. :-)

How does the horse make you think of safety when you're driving?