Halloween safety implored

The RCMP’s traffic services unit is asking everyone to keep trick or treaters safe

Ghosts and goblins will be hitting the street Saturday and that means safety is critical.

The RCMP’s traffic services unit is asking everyone to keep trick or treaters safe by preparing children for the experience and for drivers to be careful.

“Over the last five years, an average of 15 people have been injured in collisions in the Southern Interior,” said Sgt. Dave Bell, with the RCMP.

“This is an especially dangerous night during the year for pedestrians and drivers alike. In a relatively short space of time, you have large numbers of children and adults walking all over the place in the park when they would otherwise not do so. Not everyone pays attention to what’s going on around them.”

Drivers and those out enjoying Halloween can reduce the risk of injury by following these tips:

Check all around you. Pedestrians may cut through driveways, alleys and parking lots. Others may cross in the middle of the road. Drive slowly and with extra caution in residential areas.

Leave the phone alone. Distracted driving is illegal and one of the main causes of crashes with pedestrians.

Secure your car. Halloween ranks second to New Year’s Day for vehicle vandalism. Park your car in your garage. If you park on the street, park in a well-lit area. Remove all valuables and lock your car.

Be visible. Add reflective tape to costumes and supply children with a flashlight or glow stick to increase their visibility to drivers. Always accompany small children.

Masks may obscure vision. Try to use makeup instead of a mask for better vision.

Walk in groups to help drivers and others see you and your children. Have enough adults to safely accompany the children.

Plan for a safe ride home. If your festivities include alcohol, get a designated driver or bring money for a taxi. If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests get home safe.

The City of Vernon has partnered with ICBC to promote safety for trick or treaters by offering free reflectors that attach to backpacks or clothing to increase visibility.

The reflectors are available from reception at city hall or the Vernon Recreation Complex.

Fire safety is also urged by the National Fire Prevention Association:

Avoid masks and costumes that obstruct visibility or consist of billowy materials

Instead of candles, use battery operated candles or glow sticks in your Jack-o-lanterns, candelabras and other spooky decorations

Remind children to keep clear of jack-o-lanterns and other decorations that do have candles and open flames

Keep flammable decorations, such as dried flowers, cornstalks, costumed characters and craft paper, away from candles, fireplaces and other open flames and heat sources