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ICBC urging drivers, parents and drivers to avoid disaster during Halloween

While Halloween can be a fun time of year for both children and parents, the annual costume-wearing extravaganza can be equally as scary.

ICBC is offering several safety tips to help prevent any issues for Tuesday night.

BC normally sees an increase in accidents each and every year.

“We see about 920 crashes happen on Halloween that’s about a 25% increase over an average day. It is a terrible trio for road conditions were talking about darkness, slippery roads and now we’ve got a whole lot more pedestrian activity,” says Joanna Linsangan, spokesperson.

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In North Central BC, 16 people are injured in 65 crashes on Halloween every year.

To make things safer for both kids and parents, Linsangan has a helpful suggestion.

“Costumes like Batman, Darth Vader or Ninjas are very popular these days but they are very dark, what you can do is add some accessories to make them more reflective so cars can seem, putting some reflective stickers on arms and legs or their treat bag can be helpful.”

Tips for drivers include staying well below the speed limit as the hours between 5 PM to 9 PM are the peak hours for trick-or-treating.

In BC, crashes spike 25% on Halloween with 330 people injured in 920 crashes.

Tips for drivers

  • Stay well below the speed limit: Drive well below the speed limit in residential areas, especially between 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the peak time for trick-or-treating. A car going 30 km/hr travels 18 metres – about the length of four cars – in order to come to a complete stop. Driving at a lower speed will give you more time to stop in case a child runs across the street unexpectedly.

  • Scan as you drive: Children may be walking in unexpected places like driveways, alleys and parking lots. Drive slowly and be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice.

  • Don’t roll through stop signs or intersections: Come to a full stop at all intersections and look all around you. Even if you think you don’t see anyone, small children can be difficult to see, especially if they’re wearing a dark costume.

  • Do not pass a slow or stopped vehicle: Have patience on Halloween night. Many drivers will be driving slowly to watch out for trick-or-treaters. If a car is slowing down or stopped in front of you, don’t try to pass the car. They may be stopping to let children cross the road, or stopping for something else you cannot see.

  • Watch out for drunk drivers: Designated drivers for adult party-goers should be on high alert for things that go bump in the night – like drunk drivers. Telltale signs include weaving, sudden braking or acceleration, drifting out of their lane, and slow responses to traffic signals. If you suspect an impaired driver, keep a safe distance, and pull over to call 9-1-1 to report to police. Note the make, model, colour and license plate and give the exact location of the vehicle.

Tips to keep kids safe

  • Make sure the costume fits: A costume that’s too big or small could cause a child to trip and fall, causing injury.

  • Be bright to be seen: Many costumes are quite dark, making your child less visible at night. Try to nudge your child toward a lighter costume. If your child insists on being a ninja this year, add reflective tape to their outfit and treat bag, and make them use a flashlight or headlamp to help them stand out in the dark.

  • Create a safe route: If your kids are trick-or-treating without you, plan a safe route for your children and their friends. The best route should be familiar, well-established, direct and away from busy main roads. Set a return time.

  • Travel in groups: Organize a group to trick-or-treat together. Walking in a group will make you and your children more visible to drivers.

  • Follow the rules of the road: Always walk on sidewalks and cross only at crosswalks when travelling with your child. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far to the edge as possible, facing traffic. For older children that are trick-or-treating with friends, review the rules and remind them to work their way up one side of the street, instead of crossing back and forth.

  • Consider other ways to celebrate: Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, consider hosting a Halloween party for your child and their friends, attending a Halloween party if offered at local community centres, or taking your child to a local shopping centre that offers trick-or-treating opportunities in a well-lit, controlled environment.

Tips for adults to celebrate safely

  • Plan for a safe ride home: If your Halloween celebrations involve alcohol, make a plan before you head out. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options to get home safely—call a taxi, take transit or call a sober friend.

  • Light fireworks safely: In areas that allow the purchase of fireworks, light your fireworks in a clear, open and safe space. Lighting fireworks on the road are not safe for you or drivers.

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