As Halloween approaches, Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, emphasizes the importance of safety during this festive season. With trick-or-treating around the corner, excitement builds among children, prompting a reminder for vigilance among the community, especially drivers and pedestrians.
The Halloween season often sees children in costumes ranging from ghosts and vampires to superheroes, eagerly planning their routes for the big night. While some communities organize early events in large parking lots, the traditional trick-or-treating primarily occurs on Halloween night, necessitating heightened awareness on the roads.
“Excited children can be unpredictable, often darting across streets without warning,” Olson notes, urging drivers to reduce speed and exercise caution. Neighborhoods will see a surge in slow-moving vehicles as parents shuttle trick-or-treaters, highlighting the need for patience and courtesy among motorists. The emphasis remains on undistracted driving, with a stern reminder: “Eyes on the road, not on your phone.”
Safety extends beyond the roads. Parents are advised to ensure children visit only well-lit, familiar houses and never enter a stranger’s home or car. Accompanying children not only enhances safety but also serves as a delightful family bonding activity. Costume selection also warrants attention, prioritizing the child’s visibility and safety. Recommendations include opting for makeup instead of vision-obstructing masks, light-colored attire, reflective elements on dark costumes, and flame-resistant materials.
The patrol’s safety message encompasses all trick-or-treaters, urging traffic awareness. Basic precautions include looking both ways when crossing streets, sticking to sidewalks, and starting the candy hunt before nightfall. For those out after dark, visibility aids like flashlights and light-colored costumes are essential. Younger children should have adult accompaniment, and older ones should move in groups.
Halloween festivities also captivate many adults, who attend costume parties or haunted attractions. Partygoers are reminded to ensure costumes don’t hinder vision and, importantly, to plan sober transportation if alcohol is part of the celebration. “Even minimal alcohol consumption impairs reaction and judgment,” Olson warns, underscoring the risks of drinking and driving.
In this season of spooky fun, the message is clear: precaution and planning are crucial to preventing a night of celebration from turning into one of tragedy. The community’s collective effort will ensure a safe and enjoyable Halloween for all.