COLUMBUS – While the traditional trick-or-treat night may look different this year, safety should remain a primary concern for parents, children, and motorists. This is why the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding both pedestrians and motorists to be vigilant on the roads while communities are hosting their trick-or-treat nights.
“Halloween is always a fun night for our youth, but this year, as kids and parents focus on maintaining social distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, families crisscrossing the streets must also remember to remain vigilant and watch out for cars,” said Colonel Richard S. Fambro, Patrol superintendent. “Motorists should also be cognizant of the increased pedestrian traffic and remember to watch for children going place to place.”
During the last five years, pedestrian-involved crashes have increased. From 2015-2019, there were 13,796 pedestrian-involved crashes in Ohio resulting in 664 fatalities and 12,832 injuries of pedestrians. Pedestrians were at fault in half of the fatal crashes with improper crossing being the leading cause.
Pedestrians and motorists can follow these tips to increase pedestrian safety:
Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available. When no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic as far away from the edge of the roadway as possible.
Stay alert at all times, motorists and pedestrians should be prepared in case a hazardous situation arises.
Don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
Pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothing and costumes and carry flashlights on the side closest to traffic.
Pedestrians should cross where motorists expect them to, follow pedestrian signs and signals, and never assume a driver can see you.
Motorists are required to yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk and in unmarked crosswalks at intersections.
Motorists can use bright headlights when legally able to illuminate the roadway and possibly spot a pedestrian walking near the roadway.
Motorists should slow down and drive cautiously in residential areas.
In addition to traffic safety, parents, trick-or-treaters and those passing out candy should remember to carry hand sanitizer and use it often, especially after coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces and before eating candy.
More information on safely trick-or-treating during COVID-19 is available via the Ohio Department of Health.