THP Urges Drivers To Help Keep Halloween A Treat For Children

October 26, 2007

Halloween is a fun night for both children and adults, but the Tennessee Department of Safety is urging everyone to take extra precautions, so the evening doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

“We want children, their parents and all drivers to remember that safety must come first,” said Commissioner David Mitchell. “On Halloween, neighborhoods are typically swarming with excited trick-or-treaters. The problem comes when careless or impaired drivers get behind the wheel of a vehicle and make it a dangerous night for others on our roadways.”

Alcohol was involved in half of the traffic fatalities on Halloween between 12:00 a.m., October 31, 2006, through 6:00 a.m., November 1, 2006. Once again this year, Tennessee Highway Patrol Troopers will be aggressively cracking down on motorists who drive impaired.

Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher is illegal in every state. The number of people in the United States who were arrested for driving under the influence dropped slightly from 2004 to 2005, but the number is still staggering. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, nearly 1.4 million people were arrested for DUI during 2005. In Tennessee last year, 1,287 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes. That’s up 1.3 percent from 2005.

“There is no excuse for drinking and driving,” stated Colonel Mike Walker. “Troopers will be working across the state to keep impaired drivers off the road. Make no mistake, if you’re caught driving under the influence this Halloween, you will be under arrest.”

Troopers will be conducting sobriety and driver license checkpoints, as well as saturation patrols in an effort to stop impaired drivers and save lives.

All drivers also need to take extra care on Halloween because there will be a lot of children out in costumes. The CDC reports that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween than any other evening of the year. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about being safe while trick-or-treating.


Tips for Motorists

Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully.

Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention.

Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
Tips for Parents

Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their "trick or treat" activities.

Teach children to "stop, look left-right-left, and listen" before they cross the street.

Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.

Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.

Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.

Tips for Pedestrians
(children and adults)

Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.

Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.

Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.

When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.

Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

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