It Doesn’t Have to Be a Potion to Be Deadly on Halloween
Halloween should be all about fun, sadly it has been tragic for many in the Pacific Northwest.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to use extra caution on Halloween night. Nationwide, Halloween is a particularly deadly night due to the high number of drunk drivers on the roads and the increase in pedestrians during the evening hours.
According to NHTSA, almost half of all crash fatalities in 2012 on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. In Oregon, ODOT Fatality Analysis Reporting Section (FARS) reports a more frightening statistic with 90 percent of all fatalities (10) on Halloween night between 1998 and 2008 occurring in alcohol and/or drug-involved traffic crashes. During the last two years on Halloween night, ODOT FARS reports 3 Halloween night traffic fatalities.
Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween as any other day of the year. With Halloween falling on a Friday night there is extra concern. ODOT, OSP and local law agencies urge everyone to 'See and Be Seen' and remember these friendly safety reminders:
* Use caution while behind the wheel.
- Slow down and be alert in residential areas.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- Eliminate distractions so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Expect bicyclists. Expect pedestrians.
* Drive sober or get pulled over.
- Before the Halloween parties begin, plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night.
- Always designate a sober driver, even if you only plan to "have a few". Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.
- Use your community's sober ride program or take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
* Watch out for your family, friends, and neighbors.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
- If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going.
Pedestrian & Bicyclists
* Don't assume a driver can see you. See and be seen.
* Walking or bicycling impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
* Designate a sober friend to walk or accompany you home.
* Keep kids safe.
- Children out at night should have adult supervision.
- Kids should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
- Choose face paint when possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision.
- Decorate costumes with reflective tape and have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights.
* Important reminders for pedestrians.
- Walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic, when sidewalks are not available.
- When walking, pay attention to traffic, not your cell phone.
- Always cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
Everyone is urged to play an important part in keeping our highways and city streets safe by immediately reporting aggressive, dangerous, and intoxicated drivers to the Oregon State Police at 1-800-24DRUNK (1-800-243-7865) or call 9-1-1.