State Officials Urge Motorists To Be Alert During Halloween Trick-Or-Treating

TRENTON – State officials today offered several tips to the public aimed at keeping zombies and vampires, many of whom are set to roam the streets this weekend, safe and sound. Of course, these creatures, along with many others, will be the thousands of children who will be trick-or-treating this weekend, prompting Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky to encourage motorists and parents to take the necessary steps to have a safe Halloween.

“We’re asking motorists to be mindful of the youngsters on local streets as they go trick or treating,” Poedubicky said. “We can do this by slowing down, avoiding distractions, never talking or texting on a cell phone, buckling up every time and never drinking and driving.”

Poedubicky said that in 2010, 141 pedestrians were killed and 4,878 were injured as a result of motor vehicle crashes. So far this year, 100 pedestrians have been killed, four of which were under the age of 16.

A recent survey sponsored by Safe Kids found that parents’ biggest fear for their children on Halloween was pedestrian injury (31 percent), which polled higher than poisoning (24 percent) and abduction (15 percent) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics support those concerns. NHTSA has reported that, on average, twice as many children are killed in pedestrian/vehicle accidents on Halloween between 4pm and 10pm as compared to the same hours on other days throughout the year

The Division offers the following safety tips, to ensure a safe Halloween.

Tips for Parents to Share with Children:

  • Cross at intersections only.
  • Never cross between parked cars.
  • Before crossing look left, right and left again, and listen for traffic.
  • Wear light colored or reflective clothing at night.
  • If there is no sidewalk available, walk as far off the roadway as possible on the side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Children should carry a flashlight during the evening hours.

For Motorists:

  • Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Failure to do so carries a $200 fine, plus court fees and a two-point penalty.
  • Watch for pedestrians when turning on red.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • Do not block or park in crosswalks.
  • Keep your windshield clean (inside and out) for maximum visibility.
  • Be alert for pedestrians at all times.
  • Turn on your headlights prior to dusk to increase your visibility for pedestrians and other vehicles.

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