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Washington: Drinking and Walking is As Dangerous as Drinking and Driving

by Bill Keeler

Either people are really bored in Washington or they’re trying to create the perfect society where nobody ever gets injured.

This week, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx released fatality figures that support the fact that drinking and driving and drinking and walking are equally dangerous.  It’s all part of a campaign to cut down on pedestrian fatalities in America.  I think the campaign is ridiculous.

Here are the stats from the Feds:

There were 4,432 pedestrian fatalities in 2011, up 3 percent from the previous year.

One third of the pedestrians killed in 2011 had blood alcohol levels above the legal limit for driving.

Among pedestrians aged 25- to 34-years-old who were killed, half were alcohol-impaired.

By comparison, 13 percent of drivers involved in crashes in which pedestrians were killed had blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher.

Does Foxx think that releasing stats like these and comparing drinking and driving with drinking and walking is going to help the problem?  Is there anybody out there that’s going to take him seriously?

It’s just another scare tactic that is exaggerated to the point that nobody pays attention to it.  It’s ridiculous to compare the two when one practice risks injuring yourself and the other risks injuring yourself, anyone in your vehicle and everybody else on the highway.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), nearly 10,000 people die every year in auto accidents involving drunk drivers and in many of those accidents, the driver survives. That means there are plenty of innocent victims every year who were basically murdered by a drunk driver.

Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Council said anti-drunk driving campaigns may be encouraging more people to walk home after a night of drinking.

So, what’s in the future? ’Walking Under the Influence’ arrests?  I thought we already had laws against public intoxication.

Don’t get me wrong, if large numbers of young people are dying because they are so drunk they’re walking into traffic, then we need to address the problem; but, we need to address it with an accurate and realistic approach.  Claiming that these two very different drinking related actions are in a league together is like claiming ’russian roulette’ and murder are one in the same.

Background and statistics credit: Associated Press

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