The Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police and Indiana Criminal Justice Institute urge drivers to watch for little ghouls and goblins trick or treating on Indiana streets this Monday evening, Oct. 31. Look out for abnormal traffic patterns as drivers turn to visit friends and family, or stop to allow pedestrians to cross.
INDOT, ISP and ICJI offer parents the following tips to protect the safety of Indiana’s smallest pedestrians:
- Drive slowly and don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.
- Park your mobile phone. Avoid distractions by waiting until you’ve stopped to call or text.
- Watch for children darting into the streets. Kids can cross the street anywhere, and most young pedestrian deaths happen in spots other than intersections.
- Yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop, either because they don’t see your vehicle approaching or they may not know how to safely cross the street.
- Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals, and if you pull off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.
- Keep costumes short to prevent trips and falls.
- Try face paint instead of a mask. Masks often obstruct a child’s vision, which makes tasks like crossing the street and going up and down stairs dangerous.
- Make sure children wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.
- Costume props, such as swords, knives, etc., should be short, soft and flexible.
Trick or Treating
- Make sure older children trick or treat with friends. Together, map out a safe route so parents know where they will be.
- Instruct children to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
- Encourage children to trick or treat while it’s still light out. If children are out after dark, make sure they have flashlights and travel on well-lighted streets.
- Remind children not to enter the homes or cars of strangers.
- Remember to walk and not run, use sidewalks and cross at crosswalks when possible
- Follow your community’s trick-or-treating hours.
- Remind children not to eat any of their treats until they get home.
- Check out all treats at home in a well-lighted place.
- Only eat unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Remember to inspect fruits for anything suspicious.
Homeowners should keep walkways clear of obstacles and well lighted. Keep lit candles and other luminaries away from areas where children will be.
Many communities, schools and churches offer children safe alternatives to trick-or-treating designed to keep children safely within parents’ view. Some hospitals and schools allow children to trick or treat by going from room to room, virtually eliminating the dangers associated with being out walking on the street after dark.
For more information, please visit ISP’s Halloween Safety web page at www.in.gov/isp/2900.htm.