THP urges motorists to be careful during Halloween weekend | News
The Tennessee Highway Patrol would like to encourage everyone to take extra precautions this weekend to ensure a safe and happy Halloween. State Troopers will be conducting safety checkpoints, sobriety roadblocks, saturation patrols and other enforcement techniques to look for aggressive or impaired drivers and ultimately save lives.
“Halloween should be a time for good family fun,” said Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons. “However, children, their parents and all motorists must remember that safety comes first. We are urging all motorists to act responsibly, designate a sober driver and keep roadways safe for trick-or-treaters across Tennessee.”
Over 1,500 people in the U.S. died in crashes during the Halloween time period from 2000-2009. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), in 2009, 48 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Last year in Tennessee, one person was killed on Halloween between midnight, October 31, 2010, through 6 a.m., November 1, 2010. That compares to two people killed in two crashes on Halloween during the same time period in 2009. Both of the fatal crashes in 2009 involved alcohol.
“Unfortunately, the Halloween holiday weekend is a dangerous one due to impaired drivers,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “We all have a responsibility to keep our children safe from those who blatantly disobey the rules of the road. Our State Troopers will be working around the state to make sure that violators are caught and roadways are safe this Halloween.”
Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrian injuries and deaths among young children. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Thirty-eight percent of all young (under age 16) pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and alcohol involvement – either for the driver or pedestrian – was reported in 48 percent of traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities.
Halloween safety tips for parents, children and motorists are listed below. THP sobriety and driver license checkpoints also accompany this release.
HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS
Tips for Motorists
- Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs.
- Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
- 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 attention.
- Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.
- If you are driving to a Halloween party, put your mask on after you park the car.
- Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
Tips for Parents
- Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their "trick or treat" activities.
- Teach children to "stop, look left-right-left, and listen" before they cross the street.
- Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
- Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
- Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
- Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.
Tips for Pedestrians (children and adults)
- Require children to wear retro-reflective materials and carry a flashlight at dawn and dusk and in other low-light situations, such as rainy or foggy weather.
- 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.
- Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
- When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
Information provided by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Photo courtesy Flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography.