Richmond, VA; October 30 – On Thursday in Virginia, thousands of children and adults will be walking around streets and neighborhoods from house to house celebrating Halloween. It’s meant to be a fun filled day where neighbors get together and share treats with their friends. As much as we’d hope that everyone would remember to obey the rules of the road, often that’s not the case. Children dart across the street from house to house in search of candy. As they tag-a-long, parents often walk in the street, or cross in the middle of the block to keep up with their kids. Many times, children and adults forget flashlights and are not well illuminated. These can be dangerous situations, especially when combined with a distracted driver.
“We want Halloween to be fun for everyone, but most importantly we want it to be safe,” said Janet Brooking, Executive Director of DRIVE SMART Virginia. “We recognize that sometimes pedestrians might not obey the rules of the road. We want all drivers to do their part to promote safety on Halloween and beyond, and that starts with distraction free driving.”
At DRIVE SMART Virginia, we’re a state-wide traffic safety non-profit organization. We promote safe, distraction free driving. We also work to keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe by encouraging all road users to share the road. We’ve identified some simple tips for drivers and pedestrians that will help protect children and families who are trick or treating.
• Eyes forward, phone down.
• Avoid speeding, obey the posted speed limit in neighborhoods.
• Yield to pedestrians.
• Slow down.
• Wear bright or reflective clothing.
• Carry a light.
• Use sidewalks and crosswalks.
• Walk against traffic when possible.
Often, Halloween is also a time when many adults plan parties. Make sure if you’re planning to drink alcohol, you don’t drive, and if you’re a designated driver, you don’t drink. If you’re throwing the party, help your guest get home safely.
Distraction related incidents are responsible for up to 80 percent of crashes. In Virginia in 2012, 229 people died in alcohol related crashes. Speed related crashes were responsible for 313 fatalities.
“Avoiding distracted driving should always be a priority,” Brooking said. “We also hope drivers will work to share the road and help to make Virginia a better place to live, work and play.”
About DRIVE SMART Virginia
DRIVE SMART Virginia, founded in 1995, is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to educating drivers and raising traffic safety awareness in order to save lives and reduce injuries on the roadways of Virginia. Find DRIVE SMART Virginia on Facebook or Twitter.