Halloween safety tips

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian safety campaign, urges parents, motorists and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween.
More than 2,200 people are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina each year, and more than a third of those collisions occur in the evening or at night.
With thousands of children expected to be parading the streets on Oct. 31, the Watch for Me campaign is offering these safety tips to help make this year’s Halloween safer and more enjoyable:
For parents
Before children start out on their trick-or-treat rounds, parents should:
· Plan and discuss a safe route trick-or-treaters intend to follow and establish a return time. Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along the established route.
· Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
· Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.
· Let children know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.
· Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
For trick-or-treaters
To have a safe trick-or-treating adventure, trick-or-treaters should:
· Stay in familiar neighborhoods along the established route and stop only at familiar houses unless accompanied by an adult.
· Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
· Cross streets at crosswalks when available. Look both ways before crossing streets and cross when the lights tell you to cross, after you check for cars in all directions.
· Carry a flashlight, wear clothing with reflective markings or tape, and stay in well lit areas. Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
· Don’t cut across yards or driveways.
For motorists
Motorists should be especially alert on Halloween and should:
· Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where pedestrians trick-or-treating could be expected.
· Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
· Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
· Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
· At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
About Watch for Me NC
The Watch for Me NC campaign is a collaborative effort to reduce pedestrian crashes through enhanced education and enforcement of pedestrian safety laws. The campaign, which is being coordinated by a group of partners, including the North Carolina Department of Transportation, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NCSU, area universities, and planning, engineering, transportation, and police departments in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, consists of pedestrian and driver-focused safety messages as well as concerted efforts by area police to enforce pedestrian laws.