East Hawaii News

Halloween: Police Urging Safety While Having Fun

October 29, 2012, 1:08 PM HST
* Updated October 29, 3:46 PM
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With an eye toward both fun and safety, Big Island police are offering advice for parents, keiki and motorists for Wednesday’s Halloween festivities.

As part of a campaign being waged statewide and nationally called “Drive sober or get pulled over,” in preparation of Halloween officers will be stepping up DUI checkpoints and roving patrols this week.

Sgt. Robert P. Pauole, head of the department’s Traffic Services Section, noted that drugs, alcohol or both have been factors in nearly two-thirds of the 35 traffic fatalities this year.

Pauole urged all motorists to be extra cautious especially over the next few days, when a large number of pedestrians are expected for Halloween festivities. The police department is citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to back up the warning.

According to the CDC, four times as many children between the ages of 5 and 14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening than other times of the year.

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“Be especially careful in residential areas by slowing down and looking for children on roadways, medians and curbs,” Pauole said. “If you plan to drink, please don’t drive.

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“Make arrangements to ride with a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking” he said. “If you can’t find one, don’t take a chance — take a taxi.”

Advice for motorists includes driving below the posted speed limit during trick-or-treating hours, entering and exiting driveways and alleys carefully and watching for keiki darting out from between parked cars.

Parents should accompany their keiki when they go trick-or-treating or make sure they are supervised by a responsible adult and have them trick-or-treat in a safe location (consider a local mall or community event).

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When it comes to traffic safety, parents should make sure keiki are supervised as they cross the street; have them get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side; and carry flashlights and use reflective tape or stickers on bags and costumes so keiki can see and be see. Towards that, parents should also avoid masks or costumes that limit a keiki’s vision or movement.

Finally, police are cautioning parents to check all treats before letting their keiki eat them.

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