With Halloween only a week away, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is reminding drivers and trick-or-treaters to be alert and cautious of each other on the spookiest night of the year.
"There is something scarier than me on Halloween—the inattentive driver who is rushed and distracted," warns a deep, ominous voice the SHA's Halloween safety public service announcement.
Drivers are reminded to take their time and be alert, and parents are encouraged to remind children to use crosswalks, be visible at night and look left-right-left prior to crossing a street.
Want your kiddos to be extra safe? SHA will lend your child a reflective vest on Halloween as part of its Vests for Visibility Campaign, free of charge.
“This Halloween, SHA reminds everyone to follow the rules of the road,” SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters said in a statement. “Please borrow a vest free of charge, have a conversation with your family about the importance of the ‘see and be seen message,’ and remind loved ones to walk and drive safely.”
SHA also offers the following tips for motorists driving on Halloween:
- Stop for pedestrians – Maryland law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks and intersections.
- Stay alert – "park" the mobile phone.
- Obey the speed limit. Speeding only makes it more difficult to stop unexpectedly.
- Motorists should be more cautious during peak trick-or-treating hours between 4 and 9 p.m.
- Enter and exit driveways slowly, and turn at intersections with caution.
- Be alert for children darting across the street and crossing between parked cars.
- When driving children to and from different activities, make sure all seat belts are fastened and let children out of the car on the curbside.
- Never drink and drive. Designate a sober driver.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
- Cross at crosswalks or intersections.
- Be sure to see and be seen. Avoid dark clothing, wear bright colors and use reflective devices such as vests and blinking lights.
- Avoid costumes that may impair vision.
- Make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street.
- Stay alert and be on the lookout for cars traveling above the speed limit.