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A spooky time to be on the road

by Stacy Drury

Stacy Drury, Bandera County Extension Service agent, reminds motorists, parents and children
of safety tips to practice this Halloween

On Halloween, many children and adults will be out-and-about during dusk and evening hours, a time when visibility is way down for pedestrians and motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly two-thirds of all fatal pedestrian crashes and about 20 percent of fatal bicycle crashes occur in low-light conditions. More sobering still, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization with a mission to keep children safe by educating the public about prevention strategies.
By taking the time to obey laws and follow safety tips, Halloween can be a safe time for children, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
Tips for Motorists
• Slow down. Watch out for children walking on roads, in medians, and on curbs. Enter and exit driveways very carefully.
• Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and may not be paying enough attention to their surroundings.
• Never drink and drive. Designate a driver.
Tips for Parents
• Adults should accompany children and supervise their “trick or treat” activities.
• Teach children to “stop, look left-right-left, and listen” before crossing a street.
• Use a flashlight, and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on costumes to make yourself more visible to motorists.
• Be certain that costume masks do not obstruct vision or hearing.
• Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.
Tips for Pedestrians
• Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
• Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.
• No jaywalking. Cross streets at intersections and crosswalks.
• When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for cars making right-on-red turns. Obey pedestrian signals at traffic lights.
• Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.