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      Pedestrian fatalities increase this year

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Zach Ramp has seen his fair share of drunken people as a bouncer at Columbia TMs Thirsty Parrot, but he's surprised to hear about a spike in car-versus-people accidents; some of them involving alcohol.

      "I think this is happening due to people not drinking responsibly and the drivers need to be more cautious."

      South Carolina Highway Patrol says 101 people have died in pedestrian accidents through December 4th, up 8 from last year. Lexington County tallied 10 of those fatalities the highest in the Midlands.

      "Most of these collisions are involving a poor decision by someone who is walking illegally in the roadway, crossing illegally; walking at night wearing dark clothing," said Captain Brad Hughes.

      "Walking while intoxicated is also a big causation."

      Authorities say more people on the roads and drivers distracted by cell phones are also making the problem worse.

      "I TMve almost got hit by a car a couple times, there are crazy drivers out there," said Ramp.

      With three weeks left in the critical Holiday season, police are hoping to change that. Highway patrol officers will be handing out neon slap bracelets to those they see walking along roads in dark colored clothing.