Local agencies issue safety tips as Londoners bundle up for a cold Halloween

Halloween pumpkins on wooden bench. Westend61/Getty Images

Halloween is just around the corner and as trick-or-treaters get ready to show off their costumes, local agencies are reminding everyone to stay safe.

According to Environment Canada, Tuesday in London, Ont., is predicted to be a chilly one with a high of 5 C, feeling like -8 C with the wind chill during the day.

The national weather agency is also calling for a chance of flurries heading into the evening, with a low of -1 C.

But as residents brace for the cold weather ahead, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) of South-Central Ontario is reminding motorists and residents to be “safe, visible, and vigilant” come Halloween.

“Normally quiet streets can become busy with trick-or-treaters, and excited children may not be watching for oncoming traffic,” the association wrote in a statement.

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“It’s important for motorists to slow down and anticipate children running from driveways, front yards and between parked cars.”

Click to play video: 'Ask an Expert: Staying safe on Halloween night'
Ask an Expert: Staying safe on Halloween night

Michael Stewart, community relations coordinator with CAA SCO, said that motorists should turn on their headlights 30 minutes before sunset.

“Halloween is certainly an exciting time of year where we all get to dress up in costumes, kids get to go trick-or-treating, but it’s also important time of year to talk about road safety,” he said.

“Divers should keep minimizing all distractions, like keeping your phone tucked away, following the posted speed limits and taking extra care especially in residential areas.”

He added that “trick-or-treaters should also stick to sidewalks and cross at marked crossings, and costumes should be bright and include reflective items or accessories while out and about.”

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“Remind them about their roles as pedestrians,” Stewart stressed. “Looking both ways before crossing the street, making sure that they’re visible if their costume does involve a mask, or maybe opting for makeup instead, just so they can keep that better sight line and be more aware of their surroundings.

“We also want to remind parents that if you are taking your kids out this Halloween that you’re also leading by example.”

Stewart told Global News that come Halloween and reduced daylight hours, they see a rise in incidents involving vehicles and pedestrians.

“Unfortunately, that is sometimes due to either the vehicle not seeing the pedestrian or potentially not paying attention and didn’t see the pedestrian in the crosswalk,” he said. “There are incidents like that that are more common this time of year, [but] that’s why we do want to focus on these road safety tips.”

He also advised any adults who plan on partaking in Halloween celebrations to plan ahead for a safe ride home.

“That’s making sure that you are not driving impaired, whether that be by cannabis or alcohol, and making sure that you yourself are also practicing positive road safety behaviors,” Stewart said.

Click to play video: 'Celebrating Halloween safely with fireworks'
Celebrating Halloween safely with fireworks

Below is a list of additional Halloween safety tips provided by CAA:

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What motorists can do to stay safe:

  • Keep your eyes peeled behind the wheel
  • Slow down and obey road signs
  • Turn your headlights on

What pedestrians can do to stay safe:

  • Remain on sidewalks: If no sidewalk is present, walk on the far-left side of the road. When crossing the street, only cross at marked crossing. Always look both ways.
  • Stick together: Younger children should have a chaperone, whether an adult or an older sibling, who can make sure everyone stays safe. Older children should trick-or-treat with a group of friends.
  • Make yourself visible: Put a flashlight face-down in kids’ trick-or-treat bags — with the caveat that they shouldn’t shine it at cars — and add reflective tape to costumes.

The London Police Service is also advising parents to have their “little witches and vampires bring their candy home to be inspected before eating it.”

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“Parents should always go through treats to ensure there are no hazards,” police said in a statement. “Throw away any open packages or homemade treats.”

Going back to Stewart, he said that “these tips aren’t just limited to Halloween night.”

“You can take these tips into the fall and winter months, especially about being visible and making sure that you are fully focused behind the wheel and keeping an eye out for other road users,” he said.

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