ALEA: Be safe on Halloween; local communities set trick-or-treat hours

Published 11:00 am Monday, October 30, 2023

While Halloween is a day of fun for most, it can also be a night of mischief for others. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) would like to remind everyone of a few helpful safety tips and also share a link to the Agency’s online sex offender registry, so parents can remain aware of registered sex offenders in local areas.

The City of Andalusia and City of Opp have scheduled door-to-door trick-or-treating hours for Tuesday, Oct. 31.

Andalusia’s hours will be from 5:30 until 8 p.m. Opp’s will also begin at 5:30 but end an hour earlier at 7 p.m.

In the Town of Red Level, a trunk-or-treat is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Main Street. Red Level will also observe its door-to-door trick-or-treating hours during this time.

“This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday which means the regular workday commute will coincide with the time children may be walking the streets to trick-or-treat or participate in other seasonal activities. This creates a unique set of circumstances that require careful planning and awareness. No matter how you and your family celebrate the day, we want everyone to get home safe and sound at the end of the festivities,” said ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that Halloween is consistently one of the top three days of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities and the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year.

“Ensuring the safety of children during Halloween is a responsibility that must be taken seriously. From selecting appropriate costumes to understanding the dynamics of the night, every detail matters,” said Colonel Jon Archer, Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety (DPS). “Make yourself as visible to motorists as possible, especially at night and in low light by carrying a flashlight, wearing a small flashing strobe light, or wearing reflective clothing. Drivers need time to detect, identify, and react to an object they see on the road. The sooner they see you, the sooner they can react. In addition, motorists must eliminate distractions, slow down and watch for children, as well as have a completely sober designated driver if consuming alcohol as part of a Halloween celebration.”

In addition to the annual safety tips, the Agency also recommends checking our online sex offender registry to make sure your children are visiting safe houses.

Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Stay on sidewalks and avoid walking in streets if possible.
  • If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
  • Look both ways and listen for traffic before crossing the street.
  • Watch for cars turning or backing up.
  • Cross streets only at the corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks, and never cross between parked vehicles or mid-block.
  • Trick-or-treat in a group if someone older cannot go with you.
  • Tell your parents where you are going.
  • Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries. Never shine flashlights into the eyes of oncoming drivers.

Parents:

  • Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and light in color to improve visibility.
  • Be bright at night – have trick-or-treaters use glow sticks or wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and on treat buckets.
  • Ensure disguises don’t obstruct vision and avoid full facemasks.
  • Create face masks that coordinate with costumes and won’t obstruct vision.
  • Ask an adult or older child to supervise children under age 12.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes.
  • Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and to never to enter a stranger’s home or garage.
  • Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.

Motorists:

  • Eliminate distractions while driving, focus on the road and trick-or-treaters.
  • Slowdown in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals, give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.
  • Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and may cross the street mid-block or between parked cars.
  • Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys, taking extra care if you are backing up or turning.
  • Turn your headlights on to make yourself more visible – even in daylight.