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Oct-23-2006 11:27printcomments

Make Safety Top Priority In Halloween Preparations

With Halloween just around the corner, parents are reminded to be extra careful if their children will be trick-or-treating in neighborhood streets.

cartoon ghost
"Trick or Treat" by Michael Williams

(SALEM) - “Pedestrian traffic fatalities are a great risk for children everyday, and during Halloween, the threat increases four-fold,” said AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Elliott Eki. “Some Halloween masks and costumes make it difficult for children to see and to be seen, so parents must focus on safety when preparing their ghosts and goblins for trick-or-treating.”

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, October 29th, so night skies will darken an hour earlier. Darkness, the increased number of children on the streets and motorists can create a dangerous combination. To help reduce risks for young pedestrians, AAA suggests these basic Halloween safety tips for motorists, parents and trick-or-treaters.

  • Motorists should drive slower than posted speed limits through neighborhoods. Children dart from house to house, excited about candy collection, and forget about traffic and other dangers. Look for children around porches, front lawns and other remote areas, not just on the sidewalks.
  • Parents should walk with children while trick-or-treating, showing them safe places to cross the street.
  • Children and parents should wear light colored clothing or costumes with reflective material or tape for the best driver visibility.
  • Children should carry a flashlight to be seen, but they must not shine the flashlight into a driver’s eyes.
  • Trick-or-treaters should walk facing traffic if there is no sidewalk available.
  • Parents should create a map of the neighborhood and plan the safest trick-or-treating route in advance, including only familiar neighborhoods. Trick-or-treaters should go only to houses that are well lit.
  • Use face paint instead of masks for Halloween costumes. Masks can make it difficult to see and hear oncoming traffic.
  • Consider a Halloween party and mall trick-or-treating as two safe popular alternatives to the traditional door-to-door visits.

For more than 20 years, AAA has distributed thousands of AAA Halloween Safety treat-bags, bookmarks and other items across North America as an effort to spread safety awareness. Visit your local AAA Oregon Service Center to pick up these items for your children during their fun and safe Halloween.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


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