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Halloween Safety for Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Motorists

Halloween Safety for Pedestrians, Bicyclists, and Motorists

Each year, I like to remind families about Halloween safety.  Those of you who know me are aware that I’m not fond of Halloween, but many people spend the time to be outdoors with their children to enjoy treats, fun, and games.  The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer.  With shorter days comes more night driving.  Because nighttime driving is more dangerous, it requires extra attention from motorists, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nearly two-thirds of all fatal pedestrian crashes and almost one-fourth of fatal bicycle crashes occur in low-light or dark conditions. According to Safe Kids, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.  That’s why I want to remind you of the following safety tips, not only during Halloween, but all year long.

Tips for Motorists

·         Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians, and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully.

·         Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention.

·         Never drink and drive – tonight or any night.  If you are partying, designate a driver.

Tips for Parents

·         Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their “trick or treat” activities.

·         Participate in community-wide events sponsored by churches or businesses.  You can be assured that those are safe and wholesome.

·         Teach children to “stop, look left-right-left, and listen” before they cross the street.

·         Use a flashlight, and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.

·         Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.

·         Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.

·         Check all candy before allowing the child to eat it.  More than likely, the candy is safe, but it doesn’t hurt to check for open wrappers, dirty candy, or potentially hazardous “look-alikes”.

Tips for Pedestrians (children and adults)

·         Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right, and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.

·         Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.

·         Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks and obey any traffic signs or lights.

·         Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

Bloody, gory costumes which some teens and adults wear can frighten small children.  These do not belong on the door-to-door, trick-or-treat route.  Save these for the spook houses and haunted woods if you think you must wear them.

Most of all, use caution and have fun.

Closing thought

Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom – Euripides






Johanna Hicks

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Family & Consumer Sciences

1200-B W. Houston

P.O.Box 518

Sulphur springs, TX 75483

903-885-3443 – phone

903-439-4909 – Fax

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