THP ready for Halloween patrol

By | October 29, 2009 12:00 am

Safety. Lt. R.C. Christian, of Tennessee Highway Patrol, encourages parents to carefully monitor their children during Halloween festivities and trick-or-treating.

Tennessee’s state troopers are planning extensive patrols in White County, as well as other areas, on Halloween night to help prevent any illegal behavior that might hinder the fun of children and adults who want to celebrate within the guidelines of the law.
According to Lt. R.C. Christian, of White County, who serves as special programs lieutenant for Tennessee Highway Patrol, a night of celebration can quickly turn into a real night of horror if someone is injured by an impaired driver.
Since Halloween falls on Saturday this year, THP troopers will be carefully watching for any behavior that might indicate the “partying” has been taken to the roads, which could ultimately endanger trick-or-treaters.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety administration, in 2009, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a “Blood Alcohol Content” of .08 or higher. In Tennessee, in 2008 eight people were killed in seven crashes on Halloween, between 12:01 a.m., Oct. 31, 2008 and 6 a.m., Nov. 1, 2008. Four of those crashes involved alcohol.
Christian also said parents and children should be extra cautious on Halloween. Centers for Disease Control reports the number of deaths among young pedestrians, ages 5-14, is four times higher on Halloween evening that any other evening of the year. U.S. Department of Transportation statistics indicate fatal collision between motor vehicles and young pedestrians under the age of 15 happen most frequently between 4 p.m., and 8 p.m., which is considered the prime time for trick-or-treating.
In addition, Christian said parents should remind teens that not only is drinking and driving illegal, but it is also dangerous. In 2008, 31 percent of young drivers, 15-20 years old, who were killed in crashes had a BAC of.08 or higher.
Below are some Halloween safety tips provided by THP.
Tips for motorists
-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 they are not 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 – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
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)
-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.

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