The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian and bicycle safety program, is encouraging parents, motorists and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween.
More than 2,100 pedestrians are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina each year, and over half of those collisions occur in the evening or at night.
Thousands of children are expected to be walking outside on Oct. 31.
To ensure Halloween is safe and fun, 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 12.
- Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to motorists.
- Let children know to stay together as a group if trick-or-treating without an adult.
- Review all appropriate safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
Children trick-or-treating should:
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods along an 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 facing traffic and off the road as far from traffic as possible.
- 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.
- Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where people could be walking.
- 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 dusk and in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
The Watch for Me NC program, started in 2012, 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 law enforcement. To learn more about the program, visit watchformenc.org.