Posted: Tuesday, October 30th 2012 at 12:33pm
Authorities release tips for Halloween safety
By Derreck Booth Editor
UNDATED - First responders and law enforcement across north Georgia are urging motorists to use caution Wednesday night, with trick-or-treaters taking to the streets.
The Gwinnett County Fire Department is among those agencies. Lt. Colin Rhoden says don't treat it like any other night when you're driving.
"They're functioning as though it is just another average day. The drivers also need to be aware that they need to slow down."
As far as trick-or-treaters, Rhoden said parents should accompany them. He said the use of reflective material on costumes and flashlights or glow sticks make children more visible to motorists.
"Have reflectors, flashlights, have clothes that will be able to reflect the light of vehicles and always cross at crosswalks or at corners," Rhoden said.
Tips from the Gwinnett County Fire Department
• Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk across the street, don’t run.
• Walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
• Slow down and stay alert - watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and never dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
• Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct a child's vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
Top safety tips for drivers:
• Drive slowly in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
• Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
• Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
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