Kids should plan their Halloween night route ahead of time with their parents or caregivers, says CAA Saskatchewan.
“Carry a flashlight, make sure that they are visible to other trick or treaters and to drivers. And don’t forget traffic safety rules,” said Christine Niemczyk, CAA Saskatchewan communications director. “It’s a very good idea to still cross at intersections. Look both ways before you cross the street. Jaywalking is never a safe idea. Be alert and be aware of your surroundings.”
Dressing for the weather is essential as well. CAA suggests kids dress appropriately with toques, gloves and boots. Niemczyk suggests keeping the costumes bright or using reflective tape.
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“We know that there’s a lot of what I call distracted walkers. When you’re out, trick or treating is not the time to be looking at your phone,” she said.
With increased foot traffic, Niemczyk said drivers need to be alert and watch the roads carefully.
“We ask motorists to avoid driving in residential areas, or I should say in the period of 5 to 8 p.m., which is traditionally when the younger kids are out and about,” she said. “That applies to school areas, parks, recreation areas as well, where the kids will be out trick or treating.”
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For motorists who will be driving their trick-or-treaters around, Niemczyk said make sure you pull over into a safe zone and turn the vehicle hazard lights on.
“Make sure your vehicle’s headlights are on and communicate with other drivers and with the trick or treaters as well by using your signal lines and eliminate distractions,” she said. “We know what the speed limits are, but we often say go at least 10 to 15 kilometres less than the recommended speed limit. Be alert. These kids may be jaywalking. They may not be paying attention to two safe roads. So, let’s do that for them. ”
The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) will also be out in the community keeping kids safe.
“We recognize that with trick with trick or treating, there comes increases in pedestrian traffic and maybe some vehicular traffic as well,” said SPS spokesperson Kelsie Fraser. “But really, our officers are on patrol 24-seven as it is and would be prepared to respond any sort of community safety incident.”
Fraser advises parents to check the candy when getting home and to look for anything that may look out of the ordinary or candy that looks tampered with.
“Thankfully, we don’t see a ton of that. But it has happened. So, making sure that you inspect that candy, that it’s been packaged properly and doesn’t look like it’s been opened,” said Fraser.
“There’s also concern around homemade treats and accepting those from people you know, and trust is okay. But if you’re not okay with something that’s been found in your child’s bag, it’s probably best to set that aside.”
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