(TDSHS/THP) The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Tennessee Highway Patrol issued safety tips Monday as people prepare for Halloween festivities.
According to the THP, 17 people were killed during the 2016 Halloween holiday. Seven of the 17 deadly crashes were alcohol-related. Investigators said there have been 99 pedestrian fatalities in Tennessee so far this year, an increase of 17 more pedestrian deaths compared to the same time in 2016.
“This is a time when we see vehicle and pedestrian traffic increase,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “Our traffic enforcement patrols will be increased using the latest technology to conduct traffic enforcement saturations and checkpoints. Don’t choose to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Always designate a sober driver. Our goal is to keep children safe, so they can enjoy their Halloween festivities.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 45% of all motor vehicle deaths involved drunk driving on Halloween nights from 2011-2015.
“I’m asking everyone to help us not make Halloween any ‘scarier’ by just slowing down a little with the safety of our kids in mind,” Commissioner David W. Purkey said. “Let’s allow the little ones to have fun without fear of being run over by reckless drivers.”
Troopers released the following safety tips for parents, children and drivers:
— Slow down and watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs
— Be on 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
— Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway dropping off children
— If you are driving to a Halloween party, put your mask on after you park the car
— Designate a sober driver
For Parents and Children:
— Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their “trick or treat” activities
— Children must pay attention when crossing the street
— Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross streets 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