Halloween is many different things to many different people. To kids, it’s a fun time to dress up, walk around town, and gather as much candy as possible. For some teenagers, it’s a time to act dangerously. For drivers, it marks an increased chance of pedestrian accidents. And it’s the job of public officials to keep these factors in mind and make Halloween as safe as possible.
Some California towns, like San Luis Obispo and the City of Goleta, are enacting stricter laws for the night of Halloween, including heightened fines for unruly conduct, and enhanced traffic violations. Furthermore, by falling on a Sunday, this year’s Halloween could last longer than a single night, as trick-or-treaters plan to hit the streets on Saturday October 30th, and Halloween, the 31st.
But even as local officials continue to safe-proof the streets, it’s the parents who are with their children trick-or-treating, and they can take special precautions to ensure that their child remains safe on Halloween. “Communities typically do a great job of trying to keep kids safe on Halloween by encouraging daylight trick-or-treating and implementing curfews,” says GJEL Managing Partner Andy Gillin. “It’s up to parents and guardians to do the rest by following logical safety precautions.”
With this in mind, we have developed a list of safety precautions that parents and guardians can take on Halloween to make the night as safe as possible. The simplest, and perhaps most important, suggestion is to obey all traffic signs and avoid jaywalking, since more than 80 percent of all pedestrian deaths occur between crosswalks according to Safe Kids USA. Children should also wear costumes that include reflectors, or carry glow-in-the-dark sticks so that they stand out to vehicle drivers. Refer to GJEL’s call for Halloween safety for more useful tips.
Have a great time trick-or-treating this weekend! And remember to stay safe on city streets.