For the 18th year in a row, the State Highway Administration (SHA) is sharing uniforms with trick-or-treaters, all in the name of safety.
Wednesday, Oct. 31 is Halloween and trick-or-treaters will be filling neighborhood sidewalks and streets looking for candy and fun, right around the time commuters are returning home from work.
According to the SHA, that means drivers everywhere should be on alert, drive slower than usual and expect the unexpected, because they could cross the path of a werewolf, ghost or goblin - and even these creatures are no match in a contest with a car.
“Be seen on Halloween” is the message from the SHA. SHA will once again lend reflective vests to those in costume and their chaperones as part of the the annual “Vests for Visibility” Program.
SHA’s Vests for Visibility lends reflective safety vests to parents to place over their children’s costumes– free of charge. The vests will be available at all 29 SHA Maintenance facilities each day Monday, Oct. 29, Tuesday, Oct. 30 and Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Reflective vests will be issued on a first come, first served basis and need to be returned by Friday, November 9.
“There is no contest between a car and a child – even one wearing an “S” on his chest or waving a magic wand. Our mission this Halloween is to remind everyone – whether driving home from work, traveling to Halloween festivities or simply watching over trick-or-treaters to follow the rules of the road,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B Peters in a statement. “It is chilling to think that 100 pedestrians are killed every year in traffic crashes in Maryland. Even if you don’t take the opportunity to borrow one of the vests being offered, please have a conversation with your family about the importance of the ‘see and be seen message’ – lives depend on it.”
Here are some tips to ensure everyone has a safe Halloween:
- Stop for pedestrians – Maryland law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks and intersections.
- 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 p.m. 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.
2012 Vests for Visibility Participating SHA Maintenance Shops
Owings Mills Shop
9130 Dolfield Road
Owings Mills, MD 21117
150 Wyndtryst Drive
Westminster, MD 21157
Information in this article was taken from an SHA news release.