PEDESTRIAN SAFETY RE-VISITED… A pedestrian is struck and killed every 100 minutes in the United States, and another is injured about every eight minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Almost 70 percent of the fatalities occur in urban areas, and more than half of them are at night. NHTSA data show that 5,220 pedestrians were killed and 69,000 were injured in 1998, the latest year for which data was available.

Men were struck and killed twice as often as women, and children under age 10 and the elderly made up almost one-third of all fatalities. Municipalities from coast to coast are experimenting with adding devices to pedestrian signals. Some of the gadgets sound tones, chirps or bells to help visually impaired walkers determine when it's safe to cross the street. The new generation of crossing aids also includes high-tech electronic eyes, countdown signals, sensors that detect slower walkers at a crosswalk, and "runway lights" that flicker and flash to alert drivers when someone has entered a crosswalk.

Until this technology reaches Alabama, don't take your pedestrian safety for granted.

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