Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image
 
Friday is "Fright" Day: Make it Safe for All to Enjoy
10/24/2008
Shelley Snow
ODOT Public Affairs
Office: (503) 986-3438
 
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Halloween graphic links valid for 30 days - Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
http://www.flashnews.net/images/news/Porch.PNG
http://www.flashnews.net/images/news/DD2_BLU.jpg
 
Halloween falls on a Friday this year, which may increase the excitement — and vulnerability — of some young trick-or-treaters. Adults, too, may need extra warning, as irresponsible celebrating can quickly spoil a fun evening. The Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon State Police are urging parents, children and motorists to take special care this Halloween weekend to be alert and drive sober.
"Fright" Day Reminders
"Our youngest population is going to be excited about getting out and getting their treats, which leaves little or no consideration for cars or other potential dangers," said Sue Riehl, Youth and
Impaired Driving Program manager for ODOT's Transportation Safety Division. "Parents can help in a lot of ways, such as putting reflective stickers on costumes and teaching children to walk and watch, not run, as they make their way through the neighborhood."
 
Local law enforcement officers will also be on the lookout for ‘scary' drivers as part of the aggressive "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." national campaign over the weekend.
 
"Halloween should involve safe family fun," said Captain Gerry Gregg, director of the Oregon State Police Patrol Services Division. "Unfortunately, Halloween can also be a dangerous and
deadly night of the year leading to real-life nightmares due to impaired driving."
 
ODOT Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data reveals a sobering reminder and startling fact that 100 percent of the fatalities (8) on Halloween night (6:00 p.m., October 31st to 5:59 a.m., November 1st) between 1998 and 2007 in Oregon occurred in alcohol-involved traffic crashes. Nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 44 percent of all highway fatalities on Halloween night involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, which is illegal in every state.

 
ODOT and OSP offer these simple reminders for a safer Halloween:
 
For all drivers:
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Slow down on streets where there are no sidewalks and children are walking on or near
          the shoulder of the road.
  • Watch for children walking in or near the street or on medians or curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and cautiously. Have child passengers enter
          and exit cars on the curb side, away from traffic.
 
For adult traffic safety:
  • Be responsible — never drive impaired.
  • If you plan to drink, choose your sober driver before going out.
  • Once impaired, use mass transit, call a cab or ask a sober friend to get you home.
  • If all else fails, just stay where you are and sleep it off.
  • Always buckle up — it's still your best defense against an impaired driver.
  • If hosting a Halloween party, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
 
For parents and children:
  • Dress children in bright costumes. Use reflective tape or stickers on dark costumes.
  • Apply face paint or cosmetics appropriate for children directly to the face. It is safer than
          a loose-fitting mask that can obstruct a child's vision.
  • If a mask is worn, cut the eyeholes large enough for full vision.
  • Have children carry flashlights or glow sticks to improve their visibility.
  • Secure hats so they will not slip over children's eyes.
  • Remind children to cross streets only at intersections.
  • Teach them to stop and look for cars, looking to the left, right and left again before crossing, and then to keep looking both ways for cars while they cross.
  • Teach them never to dart into a street or cross a street from between parked cars.
  • Don't let children younger than 12 trick-or-treat or cross streets without adult supervision.
 
Elementary age pedestrians are at highest risk because they:
  • have a field of vision one-third narrower than an adult's;
  • are unable to determine the direction of sounds;
  • cannot accurately judge the speed or distance of moving vehicles;
  • overestimate their own abilities; and
  • are easily hidden by parked cars, bushes, leaf piles, trash bins, etc.