Walk safe this Halloween and make it a habit
Darkness is falling earlier, Halloween is approaching, and our precious little goblins are going to be hitting the streets. Getting your children ready for safe trick or treating this year can help them establish safe walking habits for a lifetime.
Review crossing safety with children. Teach them:
- Always look for cars for yourself, even when you’re with someone.
- Before crossing a street, scan in all directions. Look left, right, and then left again. Also check for vehicles that may be turning from a nearby intersection or driveway, or a parked car that may be pulling out. Keep looking around for traffic until you have finished crossing. Even if you are crossing with a stop sign or traffic signal, always look for yourself to see if cars are coming.
- Walk, don't run across the street.
- Cross the street as few times as possible.
Choose the safest routes to walk
- Walk where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic if possible
- Choose well-lit streets with slow traffic
- Avoid crossing busy or high-speed roads
- Cross at a light or stop sign whenever possible
- Stay on the sidewalks
- If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road. Walk single file facing the traffic.
Be seen. Wear bright colors and use retro-reflective materials. (These are materials that reflect light back to the source, such as headlights, instead of diffusing it. This looks brighter to drivers.) Carry flashlights. Glow sticks are inexpensive and make it easier for motorists and parents to see trick-or-treaters. In bad weather, visibility is even more important.
Choose homes that welcome Halloween visitors. Look for well-lit driveways, walkways or paths to the front door.
Do a costume check. Make sure the child can walk easily in the outfit. Make sure any mask or head gear allows your child to see clearly what is around her. Be sure he can safely negotiate steps on dimly lit walkways.
Pedestrians and motorists share the responsibility for safe streets. Messages for motorists:
- Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where pedestrians trick-or-treating could be expected
- Watch for children darting out from between parked cars. Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
- Always expect pedestrians
The City of Minneapolis is working on ways to increase and improve walking in Minneapolis. The City's first pedestrian master plan will provide guidance on creating a great walking city where people choose to walk for transportation, recreation and health.
October 28, 2009
Published Oct. 28, 2009