FROM STAFF REPORTS
MARBLE FALLS — Halloween is a fun night, but if parents and drivers fail to take a few safety precautions, it can also be dangerous.
The Texas Department of Public Safety and law enforcement agencies are reminding drivers to be aware of the increase in pedestrian traffic on Tuesday, Oct. 31. This will be especially true in neighborhoods as trick-or-treaters make their way from door to door.
“Trick-or-treaters of various ages will be out for Halloween, and drivers should exercise additional caution, especially watching for children who may suddenly dart into the roadway,” DPS director Steven McCraw said. “To help avoid a needless tragedy, slow down, avoid distractions, and don’t drink and drive. If your celebration includes alcohol, always designate a sober driver or choose alternate transportation.”
Some tips from the DPS for Halloween include:
• Don’t drink and drive (designate a sober driver or take another form of transportation).
• Eliminate distractions, including the use of mobile devices and texting.
• Slow down and even reduce your speed more in bad weather, construction areas, and heavy traffic.
For parents and kids, law enforcement recommends the following safety tips:
• Look both ways before crossing the street. Always walk; don’t run.
• Cross the road at intersections and crosswalks.
• Travel in groups with adult supervision and in neighborhoods with which you are familiar.
• Do not enter cars or homes of strangers, and avoid homes with porch lights turned off.
• Make sure children know their home phone number, their parents’ cell numbers, and how to call 911 if they get lost or in case of an emergency.
• Take all treats home for an adult to inspect before eating anything, and never eat candy that doesn’t have a wrapper.
Also when out after dark, someone should carry a flashlight and kids should wear or carry something with reflective tape or material. It can be as simple as placing reflective tape on the trick-or-treating bags or containers. Also, parents should make sure nothing on their child’s costume impedes his or her ability to see and hear.
When approaching a crosswalk or intersection, even if you, as a pedestrian, have the right of way, check to ensure a driver has stopped and also make eye contact with the driver so they know you are there.
If you are handing out candy, it’s a good idea to keep your porch light on and possibly another outside light, so kids and parents can safely make their way to and from your door.
Parents can also check the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry, which includes a mapping function to see if offenders are living in a neighborhood.
The DPS also has a free app that parents can download to check the registry for iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets.