In this photo released by the New York City Police Department, a costume-styled mask lays on the ground after being taken from an armed student at St. John's University in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007. The masked college student was apprehended Wednesday after walking through the campus of St. John's University armed with a single-shot rifle, police said.(AP Photo/NYPD)
FROM AAA -- As if Halloween night isn’t scary enough, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says Halloween is the deadliest night of year for pedestrians. The risk of fatality increases as neighborhoods become packed with children scurrying between homes for treats and streets become filled with carloads of adult party-goers. AAA strongly urges everyone to play an active role in keeping trick-or-treaters and adults safe by taking extra precautions this Halloween.
“Halloween safety is a responsibility shared by everyone, and all it takes is some extra caution,” said Jim Hanni, executive vice president at AAA. “Drivers and parents can help keep trick-or-treaters safe by simply slowing down and using caution when crossing the street.”
AAA encourages parents with trick-or-treaters to also keep the following in mind on Halloween night:
Trick-or-treat while it is still light. Depending on the weather, there’s more visibility for drivers to see trick-or-treaters before it turns dark.
Dress children in costumes that are easy to walk in. Costumes should be made of light-colored materials and include reflectors so children can be seen.
Use nontoxic face paint instead of masks, which can block a child’s field of vision.
Have children carry a flashlight. These illuminate a child’s path and allow drivers to more easily see a child. Never allow a child to carry a candle or allow any costume near an open flame.
Cross streets only at corners and obey all traffic rules, signs and signals. Never cross mid-block and never allow a child to dart out from behind a parked vehicle.
Select a route that will be properly lighted and have little or slow-moving traffic.
Use sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
Remind children to never enter a stranger’s house, even if invited. Also, children should never eat any candy until an adult has inspected it.
AAA also recommends adult party goers take the following precautions over the Halloween weekend:
Appoint a designated driver before festivities start. If no designated driver is available, make plans to take a cab or spend the night.
Avoid residential areas as possible. If unavoidable, drivers should go slowly and scan as far ahead as possible. For added safety, turn on vehicles’ headlights well before dusk.
Obey all traffic signs and signals. The risk of taking a life increases with just small increases in speed. A pedestrian is nearly twice as likely to be killed if they’re hit by a car going 30 mph compared to a car going 25 mph, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Do not park on the street. This will keep cars or trucks from blocking the view other drivers will need to see children who are out and about.