As the days grow shorter and trick-or-treaters are out, motorists need to be on alert for pedestrians.
RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian and bicycle safety program, urges parents, motorists and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween.
More than 2,200 pedestrians 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.
The Watch for Me NC program offers these tips to help make Halloween safer and more enjoyable:
Before children begin trick-or-treating, parents should:
- Plan and discuss a safe route for children to follow and establish a time to return home. 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 children carry flashlights, glow sticks or wear reflective tape on their costumes to make them more visible to motorists.
- Let children know they should stay together as a group if trick-or-treat without an adult.
- Review all appropriate safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
To have a safe trick-or-treating adventure, be sure to:
- 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.
Motorists should be especially alert on Halloween and should:
- Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where people walk.
- Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
- Watch for children walking on roads, medians, and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
The Watch for Me NC program is a collaborative effort to reduce pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes through enhanced education and enforcement of safety laws. It consists of pedestrian, bicycle and driver-focused safety messages as well as concerted efforts by area police to enforce relevant laws. To learn more about the program, visit watchformenc.org.