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Practice Street Safety as you Trick-or-Treat in your Neighborhood

Let’s have a fun and safe Halloween this year. Did you know? There are currently more than 2,000 miles of sidewalks in Seattle drop the end because we don’t want to point out our shortcoming either. But keep in mind, that Seattle streets and sidewalks vary in slope and the rain may make them slippery. Unfortunately, the chance of a child being hit by a car on Halloween is nearly double that of any other night of the year, but as your trick-or-treaters venture out to get candy, here are some tips to help them stay safe on Wednesday night:

  • Don’t go trick or treating alone. Adults should accompany young children and escort them to the door of every house they approach. Remind kids not to enter strangers’ homes or cars.
  • Plan a safe route ahead of time (view SDOT’s walking maps to help you choose the best paths).
  • If you plan on trick or treating after dusk, be sure that all children carry a glow stick or flashlight and wear reflective clothing.
  • Walk, don’t run, and stay on the sidewalks. Avoid cutting through alleys.
  • Stay in well-lit streets and sidewalks.
  • Cross the street only at intersections. Never cross the street from between parked cars.
  • Stop at the curb. Look left, right, left, and over your shoulder for traffic and continue to look for traffic as you cross the street.
  • Stop and look around parked cars or other objects that block the view of traffic before you start to cross the street.
  • Remember drivers have a hard time seeing people, especially at dusk. Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
  • Don’t forget to tell your kids to not eat any treats until they bring them home and you can inspect them.
  • Watch for bikers too.

Tips for drivers

  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk—assume they are stopped for a pedestrian.
  • Don’t be a distracted driver—don’t use cell phones or text while driving.
  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Make eye contact with a pedestrian before proceeding through a crosswalk.

Tips for bikers

  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Be aware that there will be more people walking, especially children.
  • When in the street, follow the same traffic laws required for motor vehicles.
  • When on the sidewalk travel slowly and yield to pedestrians.  

And don’t forget to keep your pets safe! With the doorbell constantly ringing, your pooch or kitty may be frightened. More tips here:

  • Consider having a room set up for your pets in the home behind closed doors.
  • Have food, water, litter box and a couple of safe toys for them.
  • Take care that your cat or dog doesn’t run outside when you open the door for trick-or-treaters.
  • Keep your cats inside for safety.
  • Be careful to dispose of candy wrappers properly.
  • Find more tips on the ASPCA website.

For more Halloween safety tips, visit the Seattle Police Department’s Halloween safety page.  And for more information about SDOT’s Safety Program, visit our Road Safety Action Plan and Be Super Safe Seattle page. You may like to read the tips on the Halloween Safety Guide website as an additional resource.