Watch Out for Children on Halloween
 
As children take to the streets on Halloween to trick-or-treat, their risk of being injured by motorists increases greatly. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Halloween is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year. Because excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, motorists and parents must be even more alert.
 
Maplewood Meineke wants to help keep our young neighborhood Trick or Treaters safe by sharing these safety tips: 
 
Motorists:
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, curbs, crosswalks and intersections. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night.
  • Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway, they could be dropping off children.
  • If you are dropping off or picking up your kids in an area, pull off the road into a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights to alert motorists.
  • Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
  • Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight.
  • Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches.
  • Avoid using your cell phone or electronic devices.
Parents:
  • Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under age 12.
  • Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
  • Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.
  • Establish a time for children to return home.
  • Tell children not to eat any treats until they get home.
  • Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
  • Have your child carry a flashlight or haveeflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars. 
Trick-or-Treaters:
  • Before you cross the street: Stop! Find a safe place to cross and then stop. Wait on the curb or the edge if there is no curb.
  • Look! Give yourself lots of time to have a good look around. Make sure you can see if anything is coming and drivers can see you.
  • Listen! Listen Carefully because you can sometimes hear traffic before you can see. Never cross the road while chatting, listening to music or talking on your phone.
  • Be bright at night – wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets to improve visibility to motorists and others.
  • Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it facedown in the treat bucket to free up one hand. Never shine it into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • Cross streets only at the corner, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
  • Tell your parents where you are going.
Have a Safe and Happy Halloween from Maplewood Meineke!
 
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