Halloween has come and gone for 2016 in Lynnfield, Saugus and throughout the North Shore. October 31st is an exciting day for children across the U.S. to dress up and trick or treat. There is no better place for goblins and witches to roam the streets than nearby Salem, the home of the Witch Trials in the 17th Century. However, all goblins and witches must beware of the dangers of traffic accidents on this popular night.
According to The Salem News a Beverly man was arrested in a hit-and-run accident that seriously injured two children and one adult in Salem. He was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury. Halloween is a dangerous night throughout the North Shore due to impaired drivers. In 2015, over half (52%) of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or higher, according to Traffic Safety Marketing.
There’s nothing scarier on Halloween, or really on any night, than a drunk or impaired driver.
- On Halloween Nights between 2009 and 2013, 119 people were killed by drunk driving.
- Over the Halloween Nights from 2009-2013, 43 percent of all motor vehicle deaths involved drunk driving.
- If you’re caught drinking and driving you could face jail time, the loss of your driver’s license, and pay around $10,000 due to higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
- Some people mistakenly think they can avoid a DUI by refusing to take a breath test. Wrong. In many jurisdictions a refusal to take a breath test results in the loss of your driver’s license on the spot and the impoundment of your vehicle.
- Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home. In 2013, 26 percent of all pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
Some helpful hints for Halloween safety and really all of the time, include:
- Slowdown 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 (or winter coats), 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.
- Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under age 12.
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
- Teach children to stop and to never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.
- Establish a time for children to return home.
- Review safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.
Trick-or-Treaters and other Pedestrians
- Be bright at night – wear retro-reflective tape to improve visibility to motorists.
- Don’t obstruct vision with masks. Watch the length of billowy costumes or clothing to avoid tripping.
- Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and 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.
It is important to remain alert when out with friends, trick-or-treating or even just running errands or to a friend’s house. Use caution and be extra careful when out on October 31st and at all times. Think defensive so that you and everyone around you has a safe and spooktacular Autumn.