Seven people were killed in traffic crashes in Tennessee during last year’s Halloween period between Tuesday, Oct. 30, through Thursday, Nov. 1. That’s why the Tennessee Highway Patrol is urging all motorists to drive cautiously, buckle up, never drive distracted and don’t drink and drive this Halloween.
One of the seven vehicular fatalities during last year’s Halloween period involved an unrestrained vehicle occupant. Two motorcyclists were killed. There were zero alcohol-related traffic deaths. Last year, state troopers issued 398 speeding and 83 distracted driving citations and arrested nine individuals on suspicion of drunk driving in Tennessee on Oct. 31.
As of Oct. 7, there have been 104 pedestrian fatalities in Tennessee in 2019. That’s nine more pedestrian deaths compared to this same time last year.
“Our troopers will increase patrols in the evening and will conduct a variety of traffic enforcement initiatives to ensure a safe Halloween,” Col. Dereck R. Stewart said. “There is simply zero tolerance for drunk, distracted or unrestrained drivers. We will be working hard to ensure that this is a safe Halloween for children and adults alike.” Stewart added.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate children are twice as likely to be struck by a vehicle on Halloween compared to any other day of the year. Children are at a greater risk of being struck because they may not look for oncoming vehicles before crossing the road. They are smaller and more difficult to see. Plus they have trouble judging distances and speeds of oncoming vehicles.
THP personnel will conduct saturation patrols, sobriety and seat belt checkpoints, as well as bar and tavern checks this holiday period.
Below are tips parents, children and motorists should keep in mind before heading out this Halloween.
Halloween Safety Tips
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 may not be 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)
• Require children to wear retro-reflective materials and carry a flashlight at dawn and dusk and in other low-light situations, such as rainy or foggy weather.
• Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road, 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.