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Halloween Safety Tips from PennDOT

As Halloween approaches, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is urging parents and children to use extra caution while trick-or-treating.

“Halloween is a fun time for families. Unfortunately, it can also be a dangerous time for pedestrians,” said PennDOT Engineering District 1 Executive Bill Petit. “Parents should talk with their children about safety guidelines and rules before heading out to trick-or-treat.”

Halloween is one of the top days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. On an average day in 2013, 15 percent of all traffic fatalities involved a pedestrian, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). On Halloween the rate more than doubled to 31 percent.

According to PennDOT data, last year, there were 28 crashes involving pedestrians in Pennsylvania during Halloween weekend. Similarly, the last time Halloween was on a Monday was in 2011, and there were 31 crashes involving pedestrians.

When out and about this season PennDOT recommends the following Halloween pedestrian safety tips:

Always cross the street at a corner and look left, right, and left again.

Obey traffic signals while crossing streets. Never try to beat the light.

If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left hand side of the road – facing traffic.

Never walk out between parked cars.

Carry a flashlight and/or wear reflective tape.

Lift masks while walking house to house and don’t cut across yards or driveways.

Always trick-or-treat in groups.

To help keep pedestrians safe, state and local police officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers as part of a statewide enforcement operation that runs through October 31. This includes sobriety checkpoints and roving DUI patrols.

According to NHTSA data, 52% of all Halloween night fatalities that occurred from 6 PM October 31st through 5:59 AM November 1, involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher in 2015.

Regionally, in Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Mercer counties, there were 20 crashes on Halloween, including seven that were alcohol-related.

To learn more about PennDOT traffic safety topics visit, www.PennDOT.gov/Safety.

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