RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian and bicycle safety program, urges parents, motorists and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween.
More than 2,200 pedestrians are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina each year, and more than a third of those collisions occur in the evening or at night.
With thousands of children expected to be parading the streets on Oct. 31, the Watch for Me NC program offers these tips to help make Halloween safer and more enjoyable:
Before children begin their trick-or-treat rounds, 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 age 12.
- Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.
- Let children know that they should stay together as a group if going out to trick-or-treat without an adult.
- Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
To have a safe trick-or-treating adventure, trick-or-treaters should:
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods along the 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 on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
- 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.
Motorists should be especially alert on Halloween and should:
- Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where pedestrians trick-or-treating could be expected.
- 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 twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
The mission of Watch for Me NC aligns with Governor Pat McCrory’s NC Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate all traffic-related injuries and fatalities through coordinated efforts with public and private partners in traffic safety.
Thousands of North Carolinians have taken the pledge to practice safe driving habits. Join them and find out more at NCVisionZero.org.
The Watch for Me NC program is a collaborative effort to reduce pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes through enhanced education and enforcement of safety laws. The program, which is being coordinated by a group of partners, including the N.C. Department of Transportation, UNC Highway Safety Research Center, and many local communities, consists of pedestrian, bicycle and driver-focused safety messages as well as concerted efforts by area police to enforce relevant laws. To learn more about the program, visit www.watchformenc.org.