Thursday, September 01, 2016

Thematic photography #382: Street Signs

The theme this week for Thematic Photograpy #382 is Street Signs.

For people who don't live in Southern California, this sign below, might be unclear. To those of us, particularly those of us living in the San Diego area, we see these signs almost daily when we pass the border patrol checkpoints on the freeways.  

The signs were erected in the late 80's and early 90's because dozens of illegal immigrants were accidentally struck by stunned drivers who failed to see people, sometimes whole families running across the freeway. Dozens of immigrants were and still are brought into the country by "coyotes." If a surprise checkpoint was set up on the freeway, the coyote vehicles would stop on the side of the freeway and tell the illegals to run as fast as they was often across six-ten lanes of heavy freeway traffic—the kind of traffic most of the people had never seen before. Horrible accidents happened—children killed in front of parents; parents in front of kids. In an attempt to stop these ghastly events, CalTrans graphic designer, John Hood was commissioned to design an image that could alert people to the possible danger. It was extraordinary image and became a strike point used for years by people on both sides of the never-ending immigration debates. 

In short order, the image was on T-shirts, stickers, coffee cups, ball caps. 

Both sides of the fence.

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