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Newspaper Article 6: Alcohol and Pedestrians (overview of problem, statistics, etc.)

Anytown-Anytown's restaurant district is a haven for pedestrians who want to go out and enjoy lively scenery and nightlife. But there's more to think about here than just music and cuisine. Safety is an issue that the Anytown Pedestrian Safety Campaign would like you to keep in mind.

The campaign organizers want to make it an even safer environment. Last year, 13 Anytown pedestrians were killed in crashes, and many more were injured. Alcohol involvement-either for the driver or for the pedestrian-was reported in 47 percent of the traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities.

The restaurant district is one area of focus for city planners and for the Anytown Pedestrian Safety Campaign. Dale Martin has been studying activity level and crash data for several years. He says that "there are many factors at play, including street design and safety measures, driver and pedestrian habits, and driver and pedestrian impairments. We're studying all of these components to try to create a safer environment. We believe that a key part of our work involves educating everyone."

So Dale Martin and other campaign organizers went directly to business owners in the restaurant district to ask for their help. Tonight in Anytown, each diner will receive a special message with his or her meal-a colorful printed napkin reminding them to act responsibly and to look out for pedestrians. Campaign volunteers are also passing out brochures in the district that detail the dangers of walking while intoxicated and urge pedestrians to make sure they have a sober buddy in the group to help keep everyone safe.

Tonight's efforts are just one piece of a larger campaign to make pedestrians safer in Anytown. The group is also organizing awareness walks, interactive school presentations, rallies on the steps of city hall and victims' speaking engagements. Each component of the campaign addresses a different facet of pedestrian safety issues in our area.

Remember, even if you are walking home after drinking, alcohol can interfere with your ability to effectively judge the speed of vehicles and increases your reaction time.

The Anytown Pedestrian Safety Coalition is currently conducting a campaign to remind drivers to look for pedestrians; and to encourage pedestrians to use crosswalks and follow the pedestrian signal indications.

More information about this and other safety issues is available in English and some in Spanish. To volunteer or obtain more information about Anytown's Pedestrian Safety Campaign and other associated events, please call (Campaign Coordinator's name here) at (phone number) or (email address).