Children First: Halloween Safety - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Halloween Safety

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Halloween is fast approaching, which means the streets of KOTA Territory will be filled with ghouls, goblins, and ghosts.

And although it's a holiday many children and their parents look forward to, a very real danger comes with hitting the streets to collect candy.

"Halloween is one of my children's favorite holidays," said Amanda Lopez of Rapid City.
 
Thousands of kids across KOTA Territory anxiously await Wednesday night, but along with excitement comes worry.
 
"I think my biggest concern is the street safety," says Lopez.
 
Many parents worry, not about razor blades in apples or tainted candy, but about something that's already a problem in KOTA Territory.

"There's just so much traffic, and people don't slow down, they don't really watch out for kids. I'm just afraid that my kids or someone else's could get hit by a car," said Christie Green of Rapid City, mother of three.
 
"I have seen on the news that there are increased accidents on Halloween night," said Lopez.
 
In fact, according to Safe Kids USA, a child is twice as likely to get hit by car on Halloween compared to any other day of the year.

Officer Don Hendrick with the Rapid City Police Department says everyone needs to be alert.
 
"The main thing is to slowdown, especially around cross walks and intersections, that also goes the other way with people walking in the cross walk, to make sure that drivers do see them," said Lt. Hendrick.
 
Officer Hendrick says so far Rapid City hasn't had many Halloween related issues, thanks in part to many parents teaching their kids safety first.

And parents ask others to put safety first as well.
 
"Be super cautious, kids can jump out from behind cars or from someone's driveway," said Green.
 
"It's important to pay attention and understand that there are going to be a lot of children out and about on Halloween," said Lopez.

Green and Lopez both say if everyone is more alert, it will be a safe and memorable holiday for everyone.

"We get so excited, my kids absolutely love Halloween," said Lopez.

####

Here are some suggestions on how to keep safe this Halloween from the Rapid City Police Department.

Drivers:

Be alert. Most trick-or-treaters will likely be out after dark, and costumed kids may be hard for drivers to spot. Motorists need to be especially alert to children crossing the streets and roadways; watch for reflective clothing and quick movements.

   

Slow down. Slower speeds give you more time to see hazards and allow you to stop more quickly. If other cars are slowing or stopping, be cautious, as their actions might be your only warning of a pedestrian in the roadway.

   

Yield to pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right-of-way if crossing at intersections, even if there isn't a marked crosswalk.

 

Pedestrians:

 

Watch for cars. Even if a car's headlights are shining on you, the driver may not see you. Dark clothing absorbs light, and glare from other headlights can momentarily blind drivers.

 

Cross in the crosswalk. Pedestrians don't always have the right-of-way. Pedestrians crossing at any point other than a pedestrian crossing, a crosswalk or intersection, must yield the right-of-way to vehicles.

 

Other tips to keep in mind:

A parent should always accompany young children.

Utilize well-lit streets.

Always walk on the sidewalk.

If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.

Look both ways before crossing the street.

Cross the street only at corners (intersections).

Don't cross the street between parked cars.

Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible to drivers.

Carry a flashlight.

Motorists may not see you – just because one car stops, it doesn't mean other cars will stop too.

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