Watch for Me NC provides tips for Halloween safety

The N.C. Department of Transportation, through its Watch for Me NC pedestrian and bicycle safety program, urges parents, motorists and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween.

More than 2,200 pedestrians are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles in North Carolina each year, and more than a third of those collisions occur in the evening or at night.

The Watch for Me NC program offers these tips to help make Halloween safer and more enjoyable: For parents - Before children begin trick-or-treating, parents should: Plan and discuss a safe route for children to follow and establish a time to return home. Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along the established route. Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12. Make sure children carry flashlights, glow sticks or wear reflective tape on their costumes to make them more visible to motorists. Let children know they should stay together as a group if trick-or-treating without an adult. Review all appropriate safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.

For trick-or-treaters - To have a safe trick-or-treating adventure, be sure to: Stay in familiar neighborhoods along the established route and stop only at familiar houses, unless accompanied by an adult. Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. Cross streets at crosswalks when available. Look both ways before crossing streets and cross when the lights tell you to cross, after you check for cars in all directions. Carry a flashlight, wear clothing with reflective markings or tape and stay in well-lit areas. Wear a watch you can read in the dark. Don’t cut across yards or driveways.

For motorists - Motorists should be especially alert on Halloween and should: Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where people walk. Watch for children darting out from between parked cars. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs. Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully. At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

The Watch for Me NC program is a collaborative effort to reduce pedestrian and bicycle-related crashes through enhanced education and enforcement of safety laws. 

It consists of pedestrian, bicycle and driver-focused safety messages as well as concerted efforts by area police to enforce relevant laws. To learn more about the program, visit watchformenc.org.