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Halloween safety tips

Published October 29. 2009 05:00PM

With children taking to the streets this week to trick-or-treat, PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler reminded motorists to slow down and watch for pedestrians.

"Some communities hold trick-or-treat during evening rush hours, so we are asking all motorists to exercise increased caution," Biehler said. "Watch your speed, avoid distractions and 'expect the unexpected' since children can be unpredictable."

Motorists should be especially vigilant on neighborhood streets as children may dart out between parked vehicles or walk on the side of the road.

Parents and guardians can enhance the safety and visibility of children by following a few simple tips:

• Buy or make brightly-colored, highly-visible costumes that do not interfere with a child's ability to see, hear or walk;

• Consider adding strips of reflective tape to darker-colored costumes or trick-or-treat bags;

• Encourage children to carry a flashlight or glow stick;

• Accompany young children while they are trick-or-treating;

• Remind children to pay attention to their surroundings and to look both ways before crossing a street; and

• Tell children to walk instead of run and to remain on sidewalks whenever possible.

PennDOT recognizes that Halloween is enjoyed by adult partygoers, too. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead for a safe ride home and avoid impaired driving. Last year there were 412 crashes and five fatalities on Halloween.

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