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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 22, 2007
Media Contacts: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

Windy VanCuren
AAA Mid-Atlantic
(804) 323-6535

Virginia Motorists Urged to Prepare for Halloween Dangers
Beware of Distracted Trick-or-Treaters, Impaired Drivers

RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) Mid-Atlantic remind all drivers to be alert this Halloween. Virginia motorists are cautioned to pay extra attention to trick-or-treaters, especially in and around residential areas.

  • Watch for children darting from between parked cars
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
  • Scan far ahead in traffic to watch for children and try to anticipate their actions
  • Children may be difficult to see if they are wearing dark costumes or masks. Be aware that masks may hinder a child's peripheral vision, and they may not be able to see a vehicle.

Parents are urged to review all trick-or-treat safety precautions with children, especially pedestrian and traffic safety rules. Remind children of the dangers of crossing streets and driveways. Walking carefully is always safer than running. Always walk facing traffic.

DMV, AAA Mid-Atlantic, the Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia State Police are issuing a challenge to drivers this Halloween through a coordinated, strategic public awareness campaign called: Are you Virginia's next traffic fatality?

The partners are aligning their efforts to reduce the number of deaths on Virginia's highways and are working collaboratively to address some of the most significant risk factors for highway fatalities. Drivers are asked to adhere to these five key rules of the road this Halloween and every day:

    Highway Safety Challenge logo
  • Buckle up
  • Avoid distractions
  • Share the road
  • Drive drug and alcohol free
  • Obey the speed limit

While Halloween has long been known as a holiday for children, many adults now participate in the festivities. More than 28 percent of adults plan to host or attend a Halloween party this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The combination of partygoers and trick-or-treaters in neighborhoods can be dangerous with Halloween consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than half of all traffic fatalities on Halloween are alcohol-related. Here are several tips to help keep partygoers and trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween:

  • Be sure to use a designated driver
  • If you have been drinking, call a cab or have a sober friend or relative drive you home
  • If you are hosting a party, make sure your guests do not drive impaired

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