Alf takes no pleasure in recalling the warning he sounded just two days under the heading New Year booze warning: the first steps you take in 2012 could be your last
He was reiterating a warning being sounded in the US about January 1 being the deadliest day of the year for pedestrians.
And he cited a post reporting on work by an American economist, Steve Levitt, who compared the risk of drunk walking with drunk driving and found that the former can potentially pose a greater risk.
By Levitt’s reckoning, walking a mile from a party to your home makes the prospect of your premature demise eight times more likely than driving your car the same mile.
Alf’s post also reported that the Loyola University Health System, outside of Chicago, consistently sees a spike in patients who have been struck by cars during this time of year.
Moreover, a report by the journal Injury Prevention says January 1 is the deadliest day for pedestrians.
So what was the first item listed among the news headlines at Stuff when Alf visited the site this New Year’s Day?
It was about a pedestrian who has been run over and killed on an Auckland motorway this morning.
Counties Manukau police have closed the Mangere-airport motorway to all south-bound traffic, northern communications Inspector Lou Alofa said.
All traffic heading south was being directed off the Walmsley Rd off-ramp. North-bound traffic was not affected.
“Motorists travelling south are advised to take the Mahunga Dr turn off if possible to relieve the backlog on Walmsley Rd, particularly those heading for the airport,” Alofa said.
The serious crash unit was investigating the collision.
The item at Stuff does not tell us the gender or name of the victim.
But a family somewhere will have woken to shattering news about the loss of a family member.
Questions are raised, obviously, about the sobriety of someone who walks on a motorway at that time.
This is among the many details lacking from the Stuff report.
But the incident reinforces the concern raised by Alf about the dangers of walking at this time of year.