Arlington, VA

Last week, the county’s WalkArlington program published a series of safety tips for trick-or-treaters, parents and drivers alike.

For instance, drivers should anticipate children darting out from between parked cars, while kids should make sure their costume is visible to drivers.

The tips, from WalkArlington’s Pacer email newsletter, are below. Have a safe Halloween tonight!

Tips for Parents and Children

Do a costume check. Can the child walk easily in the outfit? Make sure the masks or head gear allow the children to see clearly what is around them.

Think visibility. Wear bright colors, use retro reflective materials. Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and to help others see you.

Choose the safest routes to walk. Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic, if possible. Look for well-lit streets with slow traffic. Remind children to watch for cars turning into or pulling out of driveways.

Plan how to cross streets. Avoid crossing busy, high-speed, or multi-lane roads. Limit the number of street crossings. Give children exiting the street room to enter the sidewalk area.

Review crossing safety rules with children. Tell kids: Always look for cars yourself – even when adults are also looking. Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic and turning cars. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing. When crossing the street at an intersection, obey traffic signs and signals and double-check to see if cars are coming.

Walk, don’t run, across the street. Walk, don’t run, from house to house.

Choose homes that welcome Halloween visitors. Look for lights on, well-lit driveways, and walkways or paths to the front door.

Reminders for Motorists

Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.

Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where you might expect to see pedestrians trick-or-treating.

Watch for children in dark clothing. Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and that they may not be able to see your vehicle.

Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

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