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Halloween driving safety

Share The Road Safely With Ghosts And Goblins

If you’re going to be behind the wheel on October 31, be mindful of the fact that the streets will be crawling with monsters, ghosts and goblins. Heed these tips to make it a safe night for all.

Halloween night is coming. The kids are excitedly planning their costumes, and homeowners are carving pumpkins and creating spooky graveyards on their front lawns.

It’s a night meant for good old-fashioned scary fun. It’s also a night when drivers must be extra vigilant, especially in residential neighbourhoods. Before you get behind the wheel to bring your little trick-or-treaters around, or to attend an adult costume party, review these safety tips:

  • Unless your children are participating in Halloween, try to avoid driving in subdivisions during the hours of 6 - 9 pm when most trick-or-treating takes place
  • Slow down – drive well below the speed limit. A pedestrians struck by a vehicle traveling 50 km/hr is 8 times more likely to be killed than one struck by a vehicle traveling 30 km/hr.
  • Don’t pass stopped vehicles – the driver may be dropping children off
  • Don’t use your cell phone while driving – in fact, put it in the glove compartment
  • Pay extra attention to the activity around you. Be conscious of sidewalks and roadways, and watch for any children darting across the street or in-between parked cars
  • While watching the roads for children, broaden your field of vision by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches
  • When pulling into or backing out of driveways look all ways– and then look again before moving
  • Make sure other drivers are aware of your movements. Always use your turn signals. And if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights
  • Before you leave, make sure all your lights (headlights, side lights, reverse lights) are working properly and they are clean to shine their brightest
  • Use your lights even if it’s not completely dark out
  • Don’t leave in a rush. Allow plenty of time to get where you’re going so you don’t have to speed on the way
  • Listen. Keep the sound down on your radio, and open the windows slightly to hear what’s going on outside
  • If you’re driving in costume, don’t wear a mask. It could obscure your vision
  • If you’re attending a costume party where alcohol is being served, make arrangements to get a ride with a designated driver or a taxi

If you’re driving children around to collect candy, tell them to:

  • Exit the car on the side next to the sidewalk or front lawn
  • Walk – don’t run - directly to the front door of each house
  • Stay on the sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic
  • Avoid crossing the street if possible. If they must cross the street, cross only at the corner, look both ways first and listen for traffic before crossing
  • Never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block

General safety tips for trick or treaters

Parents, remind your children to:

  • Wear Halloween costumes that are flame-retardant and visible with retro-reflective material
  • Avoid facemasks that may obstruct their vision. Instead, use non-toxic face paint
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries, and use it to light the way to avoid tripping. Never shine the light into the eyes of oncoming drivers
  • Avoid petting dogs on the street or in people’s homes, as Halloween can be a spooky time for pets with doorbells ringing, children yelling and other noises. Pet behaviour can be unpredictable at this time
  • Stop only at well-lit homes and never enter anyone’s home or garage
  • Go out in groups, with parents or older kids
  • Refrain from eating candy until they get home to be sure it hasn’t been tampered with

Halloween should be a fun and safe night for all. If you’re in the driver’s seat, be smart and aware to make sure it stays that way.

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