Our Opinion: Temper Halloween excitement with caution

News Tribune editorial

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of Halloween is that costumed kids will be crossing darkened streets where drunken drivers travel.

The holiday when youngsters trickor-treat also has become one of the deadliest nights of the year for accidents involving drunken drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 48 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night in 2009 involved a motorist with a blood alcohol limit exceeding the legal .08 limit.

The Jefferson City Police Department will be among law enforcement agencies scheduling additional officers to work on Halloween evening Monday.

A grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Traffic and Highway Safety Division will fund the enforcement effort in residential neighborhoods.

Police encourage adults who intend to consume alcohol to arrange a designated driver or call Sober Drive at 636-7102.

Parents also are reminded of safety tips to protect their children.

The Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross suggests trick-ortreaters:

• Be escorted, if possible, by a parent.

• Only visit homes where porch lights are on.

• Do not go inside homes; remain on the porch.

• Bring flashlights. Carry glowsticks, not candles.

• Wear light-colored costumes or clothing and use reflective tape.

• Walk on the sidewalks, not in the streets.

• Be careful when crossing streets.

• Be wary of animals, particularly dogs, that are unfamiliar.

Halloween — an opportunity to dress up and collect treats — is an exciting time for youngsters.

Tempering excitement with caution, however, will help trick or treaters return home safe and sound.

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