Pedestrian deaths increased in 2010, and it was Michelle Obama's fault. This is what we're learning today! Specifically: Maybe if Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign wasn't urging people to exercise regularly, cars would hit them less often?
Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Administration, had no clue what she was getting into when she went into this interview with the Washington Examiner:
GHSA executive director Barbara Harsha said her organization doesn't know why there were more deaths in the first six months of 2010 than in 2009, but the increase is notable because overall traffic fatalities went down 8 percent during this period, and the increase ends four straight years of steady declines in pedestrian deaths.
But the "get moving" movement, led by Obama's "Let's Move" campaign to eliminate childhood obesity, could be to blame, Harsha told The Washington Examiner.
"There's an emphasis these days to getting fit, and I think people doing that are more exposed to risk [of getting hit by a vehicle]," said Harsha, who conceded to having no scientific evidence that the Let's Move campaign has led to an increase in walkers and runners, or deaths.
"This is all speculative," Harsha said. "Obviously, further study is needed."
And a GHSA spokesperson, Jonathan Adkins, also mentioned Michelle Obama's program during a separate interview with a local radio station today:
WASHINGTON — The Governors Highway Safety Association says pedestrian deaths increased in the first half of 2010 and the First Lady's program to get Americans to be more active could be partly responsible.
Governors Highway Safety Administration spokesman Jonathan Adkins told 630 WMAL that Michelle Obama is "trying to get us to walk to work and exercise a little bit more. While that's good, it also increases our exposure to risk."
Harsha and Adkins claim that they were misquoted as being against Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, which they are not. No one is against exercise, or at least the concept of it. Harsha and Adkins "just want to ensure pedestrian safety" if there are going to be more pedestrians nowadays. That's a fine (and you'd think self-explanatory!) message: If you're going to walk more often, don't run in front of cars.
Or maybe evil Michelle Obama does want people to run in front of cars and die? We're just speculating.
[Image via AP]