SOURCE: AAA Texas

October 25, 2007 11:56 ET

AAA Texas & Dallas Co. Sheriff's Office Want Kids to Be Seen on Halloween

Motorists, Parents and Kids Need to Expect the Unexpected

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - October 25, 2007) - Halloween is a fun holiday for kids. But for parents and motorists, trick-or-treating can be a spooky time of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Halloween is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In addition, a study by the Center for Disease Control estimates that children are four times more likely to be struck by a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.

"The excitement of Halloween night can easily cause children to forget about their safety," said AAA spokesperson Paul Flaningan. "Parents and guardians need to closely supervise their kids. Children under the age of twelve have not developed the ability to judge driver behavior. Motorists need to slow down and watch carefully."

This year, AAA Texas has teamed up with the Dallas County Sheriff's office to distribute Trick-or-Treat bags and bookmarks. These goodies include easy-to-follow tips on what parents and kids can do to Be Seen on Halloween. Dallas County Sheriff's deputies will be handing out the bags and bookmarks from their individual squad cars and from every Dallas Sheriff's Department substation. The bags are also available at all AAA Texas District offices in the DFW area.

"Our children are our most valuable assets," says Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez. "Let's all take the time to make sure they have a fun and safe Halloween this year. Please, slow down and watch for kids walking through North Texas neighborhoods. One night of patience could safe a child's life."

Here are some easy tips to ensure Halloween night is safe for all:

Motorists

--  Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and
    signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself
    extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
--  Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. In dark
    costumes, they'll be harder to see at night.
--  Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying
    attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
--  Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys.
--  Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible -- even in the
    daylight.
--  Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into
    yards and front porches.
    

Parents

--  Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise
    children under age 12.
--  Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow.
--  Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along
    established routes.
--  Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never enter a
    stranger's home or garage.
--  Establish a time for children to return home.
--  Tell children not to eat any treats until they get home.
--  Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and
    traffic safety rules.
--  Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and visible.
    

Trick-or-Treaters

--  Be bright at night -- wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat
    buckets to improve visibility to motorists and others.
--  Wear disguises that don't obstruct vision, and avoid facemasks.
    Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy
    costumes to help avoid tripping.
--  Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from
    tripping or horseplay.
--  Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it facedown
    in the treat bucket to free up one hand. Never shine it into the eyes of
    oncoming drivers.
--  Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.
--  If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing
    traffic.
--  Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
--  Cross streets only at the corner, and never cross between parked
    vehicles or mid-block.
--  Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you.
--  Tell your parents where you are going.
    

AAA Texas, a member of the American Automobile Association federation of motor clubs, has been serving Texans since 1902. Today, more than a million AAA Texas members benefit from the organization's roadside assistance service, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing, buying and financing, trip planning services, and traffic safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the AAA Texas web site at www.aaa.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    AAA Texas
    Paul Flaningan
    469.221.8217

    Dallas Co. Deputy
    Michael Ortiz
    214.653.3465