With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, drivers, trick-or-treaters and grown-up ghosts need to take extra precautions on the roads.
Crashes involving pedestrians peak on Fridays, occurring most often between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., the same time many children will head out to trick-or-treat this year.
Tips for parents:
* Add bright to their fright. No matter what children dress up as this Halloween, they also need to dress to be seen. Include something bright on their outfit or add some reflective tape to their costume so they are visible to drivers when trick-or-treating.
* Check little monsters’ masks. The best costumes don’t obscure the vision of little ghosts and goblins. Try on your child’s mask ahead of time to check visibility. If you can’t see out of it, modify it or find another way to complete the costume.
* Gather ghouls together. Walk in groups to help drivers and others see you and your children. Be sure to have an appropriate number of adults to accompany the children.
* Create a candy route. If your children will be trick-or-treating without you, go over their route with them before they go out. Choose one that avoids busy streets and remind them to only cross the street at designated crossing points.
Tips for drivers:
* Don’t get spooked. This Friday, children may be difficult to see while trick-or-treating. They may be walking in unexpected places like driveways, alleys and parking lots or cross the street at unpredictable places. Make sure there are no small children behind your vehicle by walking around it before getting in. Drive slowly and with extra caution, particularly in residential areas.
* Secure your car. Halloween is second only to New Year’s Day for vehicle vandalism incidents on holidays or annual celebrations.*** Park your car in your garage or underground parkade this Friday. If you park on the street, park in a well-lit area, remove any valuables and ensure your car is locked.
* Plan a safe, not scary ride home. If your Halloween festivities include alcohol, plan a safe ride home before you head out. Arrange for a designated driver or bring money for a taxi or transit. If you are hosting a party this weekend, make sure your guests don’t drive home if they’ve been drinking.
On Halloween night, on average:
* 90 people are injured in 62 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
* 13 people are injured in nine crashes on Vancouver Island.
* 15 people are injured in nine crashes in the Southern Interior.
* Five people are injured in three crashes in the North Central region.
“Children are particularly vulnerable on the roads on Halloween as it is getting dark by the time they head out,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This year, children will be trick-or-treating on Friday, which is typically the worst day for crashes involving pedestrians in B.C. We advise parents to choose a trick-or-treat path on quieter residential streets and make sure that your children are wearing something bright or reflective, to stay safe on Halloween night.”
“Many adults will also be celebrating Halloween at parties and events this weekend,” said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “If you’re walking, be a safe pedestrian: look, listen and be seen. And if your Halloween plans include alcohol, arrange for a designated driver or take transit or a taxi home.”
“When you’re behind the wheel this Friday, drive with extra caution on residential streets where children will be trick-or-treating,” said Chief Officer Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “Don’t spoil Halloween—slow down and give yourself extra time and space to stop in case a child suddenly crosses the street.”
“As streets will be busy with trick-or-treaters on Friday evening, plan ahead to avoid getting behind the wheel when most children will be out,” said John Dickinson, ICBC’s Director of Road Safety. “If you need to drive, be extra cautious as children can get caught up in the excitement of Halloween and easily forget the rules of the road.”