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THP, THSO offer Halloween safety tips

The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) and Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) are partnering together for a safe Halloween.  The THP will plan for increased visibility and enforcement efforts on Halloween to ensure a safe and happy holiday for all Tennesseans.

There were four people killed on Halloween night per the Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN) during the 2013-2015 time periods.  Two of the four fatal crashes involved drunk drivers.

“There is typically a dramatic increase in pedestrian traffic on Halloween. It is important for us to remind motorists to slow down and watch for children on all roadways. This is a time of good family fun. However, children, parents and motorists must remember that safety comes first,” Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David Purkey said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31 – 5:59 a.m. November 1) from 2009 to 2013 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. On Halloween Night alone, 119 people lost their lives over that same period.

As of October 27, there have been 80 pedestrian fatalities in Tennessee in 2016. That’s four more pedestrian deaths compared to this same time last year. Children out trick-or-treating and the parents accompanying them are at increased risk of injury during the Halloween weekend.

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In 2015, Tennessee averaged 25.9% Alcohol-Impaired Driving fatalities.  THP arrested 6,421 impaired drivers.  Currently in 2016, the THP has arrested 6,647 impaired drivers.  For Checkpoint information visit our website, https://www.tn.gov/safety/article/checkpoints.

“We will also be conducting increased patrols and using enforcement techniques to look for aggressive or impaired drivers,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said.  “Partygoers should plan ahead, designate a sober driver.  Don’t make the poor decision to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.  Our goal is to keep children safe from those who blatantly disobey the law this Halloween,” he added.

Halloween safety tips for parents, children and motorists are listed below.

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 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.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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