With trick or treaters ready to haunt the roadways Thursday and the “fall back” time change coming up Sunday, Nov. 3, the Trail RCMP is reminding pedestrians and motorists to use a few safety measures as darkness sets in earlier.
“The Trail and Greater District RCMP is wishing everyone a fun and safe Halloween,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich began. “Sunset will occur at 5:32 p.m. on Halloween which means that most treat-or-treaters will be walking around local neighbourhoods in the darkness,” he advised. “The RCMP will be out patrolling in marked police vehicles all evening to ensure a fun and safe evening.”
With the time change and earlier sunset, it is important for pedestrians and drivers to be aware of the seasonal changes when walking or on the road.
According to ICBC statistics for the Southern Interior, approximately 240 pedestrians are injured each year, 10 fatally.
One of the most prevalent reasons for pedestrian crashes is driver inattention, especially at crosswalks, where 68 percent of all pedestrian crashes occur.
Pedestrians and cyclists are reminded to wear reflective garment options, especially at this time of year, like arm bands, zipper pulls and vests attached to clothing, bikes, scooters or backpacks. That may be enough to allow you to be seen by approaching vehicles and avoid a crash.
Other advice for pedestrians out for a walk as darkness descends includes:
• Look both ways when preparing to enter any crosswalk, and always attempt to make eye contact with approaching drivers
• Ask yourself- Did the driver see me and is the vehicle slowing down? If the answer to the above is “No,” do not assume the driver sees you and do not proceed through the crosswalk
• Remove your ear buds, and dismount from your bike when crossing through any intersection
Halloween safety tips
• Trick-or-Treat with your parent or a responsible adult.
• Trick-or-treat with a friend or in a group if unsupervised. Tell your parents or a responsible adult where you are planning on trick-or-treating and when you will be back home. Carry a cell phone if available.
• Always make sure you are visible in the darkness. Carry a flashlight, wear reflective clothing or tape, or bright glow sticks or do all three. More is better! Check with your parents or friends to ensure you are visible in the dark prior to going out for the evening.
• Wear a proper fitting costume. Dress for the conditions in addition to dressing up in your costume. Costume weaponry should be easily identifiable as an imitation. Avoid masks that limit your vision and hearing.
• Stay on the sidewalks or to the side of the road. Face traffic when you are walking down the road without sidewalks. Do not crisscross back and forth across the street. Use designated crosswalks and road crossings. Only cross the road when the light indicates you to do so.
• Only attend well-lit homes and skip the dark ones.
• Do not eat any treats until your parents look examine your candy. Do not eat any treats that are unwrapped or look like they may have been tampered with.
• Never go inside a stranger’s residence or his/her vehicle. If a stranger is asking you to go with them somewhere, you immediately: Tell them no and walk away; Call 9-1-1 and report the incident; Tell your parent or a trusted adult.
For Home Owners:
• Ensure your house is well-lit.
• Ensure your property is safe and clear of obstacles for foot traffic.
• Keep an eye on candles if used. You can use battery powered electric lights or glow sticks for pumpkins instead.
• Report suspicious activity and incidents to the RCMP.
• Make sure your pets are safe and secure indoors for the evening.
• Slow down and be extra cautious or avoid driving for the night if possible. Expect children to dart out from behind parked cars.
• Watch out for people using crosswalks.