The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 30, 2012

Have fun but be safe on Halloween night

NORMAN — Halloween is scary enough for some folks. But this statistic shared from the Norman Police Department is downright frightening: Children are four times more likely to be in fatal pedestrian accidents on Halloween than on any other night of the year. Wednesday is Norman’s official meet-and-treat night.

Police say there are several reasons why children are more likely to be hurt in pedestrian accidents: They often choose to take the shortest route, which may mean darting out between parked cars rather than taking the safer route of crossing at corners. They're poor at evaluating potential traffic threats. They're more likely to disregard their peripheral vision and are less attentive of their street surroundings.

Kids have a tendency to believe they're indestructible and are more likely to take risks. They need to be told that some people driving cars will not slow down for them. They can't cross streets as rapidly as adults, and they may be distracted by other children's costumes, behaviors and home decorations.

Motorists should be especially watchful for trick or treaters: Watch for children darting out from between parked cars, be aware that children walking next to or on the edge of the roadway may suddenly step, fall or be pushed by a companion into the street. Give them a wide berth if possible, and be ready to take evasive action.

Be especially watchful for pedestrians on sidewalks when entering and leaving driveways and parking lots. Be aware that, despite advice to the contrary, some children will go out in dark-colored costumes. Keep in mind that some may be hard to see after dark.

Police encourage children to only visit homes of residents who are known and who have outside lights on as a sign of welcome. Children should not enter homes or apartments unless an adult accompanies them. An adult should check treats for evidence of tampering.

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