“Halloween is a “walking holiday”,” says Tara Shepherd, HART executive director. “Children are smaller, and by their very size, are less visible to motorists,” she points out. “Dusk and nighttime conditions, as well as dark costumes, add to lower visibility and can create a higher safety risk,” Shepherd cautions.
Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year*, which is why HART Commuter Information Services, the non profit organization promoting sustainable transportation and Safe Routes to School in Hunterdon County, offered free reflective wristbands to county residents.
HART recommends that all children and their chaperones wear reflective items, such wristbands, sashes, safety vests, or reflective tapes/tags, as well as carry a flashlight or other illuminated item, such as a glow stick, to improve the likelihood that they will be seen by motorists.
HART offered free reflective wristbands to interested residents, however quantities are limited.
- Wear reflective items such as wristbands and reflective tape.
- Take along a flashlight for evening trick or treating.
- Use sidewalks and crosswalks; do not cross midblock or “jaywalk”
- Where there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and only cross at corners.
- Don’t ever assume a driver sees you or your child. Make eye contact before crossing.
- Always accompany small children.
- Make sure that costumes do not block a child’s vision or create a trip hazard when walking.
- Do not allow children to “horseplay” along the side of the road.
- Do not be a distracted walker- put down the cell phone, stop texting.
- Serve as a role model to children through your own pedestrian behavior by following the rules above.
Be safe and be seen and have a Happy Halloween!!!!!
Special thanks to HART Commuter Information Services for writing and contributing this article!