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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Drivers and Trick-or-Treaters Urged to Use Caution on Halloween
Increase in Pedestrians Predicted

RICHMOND - Halloween can be one of the most exciting times of year for both children and adults, but it can be one of the most dangerous as well. Since more pedestrians are on the roadways on Halloween, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) urges drivers to be extra alert.

DMV recommends that motorists enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully, and stay below the posted speed limit, especially in residential areas. They should avoid passing other vehicles since they may be slowing down for trick-or-treaters and should look out for children darting out between vehicles.

"On Halloween, drivers are urged to watch out for trick-or-treaters, but parents should also remind their children not to assume the right of way," said DMV spokesperson Sunni Brown. "Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will. Also, drivers may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters."

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to trim children's costumes or candy bags with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a vehicle's headlights. Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling. Pedestrians are also encouraged to carry flashlights on Halloween.

While trick-or-treating, children should walk (not run) from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walking in the street. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see them.

Parents and caregivers are urged to plan their trick-or-treat route ahead of time to avoid busy, high-speed or multi-lane roads. They should decide before leaving home how the group will cross any streets.

In Virginia, there were 383 crashes and 177 injuries on Halloween in 2012; nine of the crashes and three of the injuries were alcohol-related.

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