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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 24, 2014
Media Contact: Brandy Brubaker
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6834

Watch Out for Drunk Drivers on the Roadways This Halloween
Best Defense is to Buckle Up

RICHMOND - This Halloween, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is reminding motorists to be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters and drunk drivers.

To protect yourself from intoxicated motorists, always wear your seatbelt.

"Since Halloween falls on a Friday this year, we anticipate that more drunk drivers will take to the roads on their way home from parties and other festivities,""said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "Always buckle your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are properly secured. That is your best defense against drunk drivers. If you plan to drink, select a non-drinking driver or arrange for a taxi to pick you up. Don't risk your life or someone else's."

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2008-2012, about half of all crash fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver or motorcycle operator. During that five-year period, 166 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night nationwide.

In Virginia, there were 862 crashes, resulting in three fatalities and 448 injuries from Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2013. Forty-four of the crashes and 24 of the injuries were alcohol-related.

Those who will be heading out on foot on Halloween also need to use caution. Parents and caregivers should have a discussion with children about pedestrian safety before going trick-or-treating.

Here are a few tips to stay safe while driving or trick-or-treating on Halloween:

  • Motorists should enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully in case trick-or-treaters are walking through the neighborhood.
  • Avoid passing other vehicles since they could be slowing down for trick-or-treaters.
  • Be on the lookout for children darting out between vehicles.
  • Remind children not to assume the right of way when crossing the street. Just because one car stops doesn't mean others will.
  • Tell children to walk from house to house, rather than running.
  • Stick to the sidewalk, instead of walking on the street. If there is no sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic to increase visibility.
  • Map out a trick-or-treat route before leaving the house. Avoid busy, high-speed streets and multi-lane roads. Plan where you'll cross the street.
  • Attach reflective tape to costumes or candy bags and give each child a flashlight to make them easier for drivers to see.
  • Keep costumes short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling. Make sure they can see clearly through masks.
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