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PEDESTRIANS are putting themselves in danger by forgetting about road safety once they have had a drink. That's why the Scottish Government is determined to raise awareness of the risks this Christmas. Director of Road Safety Scotland, Michael McDonnell, highlights the dangers of a night out and how drivers and pedestrians can help prevent accidents.

ONE in three pedestrians killed on the road would have failed a breathalyser test.

That's the kind of statistic which shows just how much of a problem pedestrian safety is when the pubs and clubs come out.

There are so many tragic stories about of people simply lying down in the road on the way home from the pub, or who have slipped and fallen in the road and been unable to get up.

In one incident, someone did lie down and go to sleep, and the first anyone knew he was there was when someone ran over him.

We know that people go out, particularly at the weekend and particularly at this time of year, and that people want to celebrate.

In many ways, it is fantastic that they are taking the advice not to drink and drive.

But we need to warn people that drinking and being a pedestrian late at night can also be problematic.

Simply because when someone is walking home late at night after having had a drink, they find it harder to think about all those things that they would normally think about to keep themselves safe.

The danger seems to be greater in winter because people tend to wear dark clothes, which mean that drivers find them harder to see.

So I think the message we are trying to put across is to both late-night drivers and to pedestrians who have had a few drinks.

Drivers need to realise that pedestrians may not be behaving as responsibly as they would like and may not be adhering to the rules of the road.

So, if you are near pubs and clubs at closing time, ease off the gas a bit to give yourself more time in case someone does step out in front of you.

Pedestrians, on the other hand, need to try and be more responsible for their own safety when they have had a few drinks.

We see pedestrians getting into trouble for a variety of reasons.

It is not just those who deliberately walk down the middle of the road that we are worried about. People can lose balance and fall into the road or even just slip.

With a drink in them, people don't tend to see kerbs and may not be aware that they have moved from the pavement to the road.

What we would like people to do is think about how they are going to get home before they go out, especially at this time of year when people may be going to different places rather than just their local.

I would also advise people to try and avoid travelling home alone, and nobody should ever sit on a kerb or near a road, no matter how quiet that road may seem.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 18, 2008
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