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Tenn. Highway Patrol encourages traffic safety for Halloween

7 people were killed in crashes on Halloween 2018
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Posted at 2:29 PM, Oct 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-30 15:29:34-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — To encourage traffic safety during Halloween, the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) has offered some Halloween statistics and tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating.

Seven people were killed in crashes in Tennessee during the Halloween period between October 30 and November 1.

One of those deaths involved an occupant of a vehicle who wasn't wearing a seat belt and two others were motorcyclists. There were no alcohol-related traffic deaths in the state for Halloween last year.

As of October 7, there have been 104 pedestrian fatalities in the state this year. That's nine more compared to that same time last year.

The Centers for Disease Control have estimated children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween compared to every other day of the year.

To help prevent as many incidents as possible, THP plans to increase patrols the night of Halloween.

"Our troopers will increase patrols in the evening and will conduct a variety of traffic enforcement initiatives to ensure a safe Halloween," Colonel Dereck Stewart said. "There is simply zero tolerance for drunk, distracted or unrestrained drivers. We will be working hard to ensure that this is a safe Halloween for children and adults alike."

THP will be conducting saturation patrols, sobriety and seat belt checkpoints. They'll also be making bar and tavern checks for the holiday.

Below are tips for parents, children and drivers to keep in mind for this Halloween.

Tips for parents:

  • Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their trick-or-treat activities.
  • Teach children to "stop, look left-right-left, and listen" before they cross the street.
  • Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
  • Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
  • Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
  • Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.

Tips for pedestrians (children and adults)

  • Require children to wear retro-reflective materials and carry a flashlight at dawn and dusk and in other low-light situations, such as rainy or foggy weather.
  • Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
  • Walk - never run - from house to house or across the road.
  • Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
  • When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

Tips for drivers

  • Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs.
  • Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
  • Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They're excited and may not be paying attention.
  • Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway. They could be dropping off children.
  • If you are driving to a Halloween party, put your mask on after you park the car.
  • Never drink and drive - on Halloween or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.