Tips for keeping safe on Halloween night

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

Monday, Oct. 29, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- News 12 is on your side with some tips from local experts to keep both you and your loved ones safe this Halloween.

From the South Carolina Highway Patrol:

Divers should expect more pedestrians walking in or around the roadway. Children, as well as parents, should be aware of the dangers associated with walking close to the roadway. South Carolina Law requires:

SECTION 56-5-3160. Pedestrians on highways.

(a) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.

(b) Where a sidewalk is not available any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.

(c) Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway.

(d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

As pedestrians, we should walk facing traffic and be prepared to take evasive action if a vehicle approaches in your direction. Pedestrians should wear some type of reflective material or light-colored clothing so drivers can identify those walking close to the road. We should try to put on wrist or ankle bands that are reflective that can show movement. Drivers can see the movement and identify it as possibly being a pedestrian. Parents or guardians should monitor the event closely. Adults should be prepared to help children cross roads in their neighborhood constantly looking for traffic. Pedestrians should use crosswalks when available or cross at intersections that are lit with street lights.

Drivers should prepare themselves for conditions at night as well:
- Scanning the road ahead
- Preparing to stop for pedestrians crossing the road
- Lower their speed
- Keep their attention on driving and don’t be distracted

When vehicles and pedestrians are close to each other, don’t assume they see each other and proceed with caution. Drivers and pedestrians should try to make eye contact.

For those planning to attend events Halloween night which may be serving alcohol, try to remember some things that will make this Halloween safe for everyone:
- Have a designated driver
- Arrange for a taxi
- Call a friend to pick you up

From the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety:

The pumpkins are carved and the costumes are ready, but one thing the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety wants all Halloween revelers to include in their festivities is safety.

Both trick-or-treaters and motorists can do their part to make sure everyone gets home safe on Halloween night on Georgia. Why extra caution when the ghosts and goblins aren’t even real? Because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that between 4 and 10 p.m. on Halloween, the number of child fatalities occurring in pedestrian or vehicle incidents more than doubles.

“It’s going to be dark and it’s going to be cold so kids could be moving fast,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “Not only do we want motorists to watch out for every young princess and pirate darting to the next house for candy, but we also want trick-or-treaters and their parents to take precautions as well.”

The good news is that Safe Kids has a handful of simple steps that both pedestrians and motorists can take to stay safe on Halloween:

Pedestrians:
-Children under 12 should trick-or-teat and cross the streets with an adult.
-Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
-Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Parents should remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
-Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.

Drivers:
-Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
-Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
-Remember costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.
-Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Nationwide, Halloween is also a particularly deadly night due to the high number of drunk drivers on the roads. In 2010, 41 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation involved a driver a BAC of .08 or higher.

From Columbia County EMA Director Pam Tucker

- If costumes are dark colored, use reflective tape to help visibility
- Use flashlights or glow sticks
- Use make-up instead of masks so vision isn't affected
- Adults should accompany young children
- For older children, set parameters for where they can go trick-or-treating and when they are expected back at home
- If not accompanied by an adult, have children trick-or-treat in groups and stay together; make sure someone has a cellphone
- Trick-or-treat in areas that are well-lit, where there are a large number of homes, such as in a subdivision
- The recommended time frame for trick-or-treating is between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.
- Please only approach homes where porch lights are on or some type of Halloween decorations and lights signify that the home is participating with treats to give out


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