Tips for a safe trick-or-treat
Published 5:58 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Halloween is this Friday, but before you head out with your kids to trick or treat, Michigan State Police have a few reminders to keep everyone safe. We would like you to know about what you can do to ensure a happy and safe Halloween. Halloween is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. Kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car.
Stand on sidewalks if they’re available; if not, walk on the left of the roadways, as far as possible, facing traffic. When walking to homes; don’t cross in between cars and never enter homes, even if it’s raining or invited.
State Police target aggressive drivers on Halloween, and if you’re ticketed for reckless driving, the misdemeanor could land you in jail with six points on your license.
Police also want to remind kids to bring a flashlight or wear glow sticks for high visibility. Cellphones are good to bring along too, but don’t text or play games walking in between houses. As far as the tricksters go, police say that jail time is a real possibility, depending on what gets damaged.
And parents, as always, are advised to look over the kids’ candy before they eat it. We advise to check for the obvious sharp objects or unwrapped candy, but unfortunately, today there could be some illegal substances involved. There have been issues in other states with marijuana being put in the candy.
Finally, state police urge trick or treaters to stick to neighborhoods they know.
I would also like to mention that Halloween has become almost as big a holiday for adults has it has for children. Instead of wigging out on sugar, some adults may hit the alcohol a little too hard, especially since this Halloween is on a Friday night. Michigan State Police plan to set up what they are calling “Zombie Zones” in selected parts of the state to make sure drivers are buckling up and aren’t driving drunk.
State officials say the statistics can be frightening, with 44 percent of all fatal crashes over Halloween weekend involve alcohol. 23 percent of all pedestrian facilities Halloween night involving booze. The death toll for children hit by cars doubles Halloween night.
Please be safe and mindful of pedestrians and other traffic on this evening.
On Oct. 22, 2014, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 317, the Nathan Bower Act, in Lansing, Michigan. It is now mandated that in addition to the standard driver’s education curriculum currently taught to future Michigan drivers, information about motorcycle and bicycle awareness and safety must be included. Students will be taught the importance of motorists being aware of their surroundings while driving on Michigan roads.
As we have noted previously, the Act is named after Nathan Bower, a 19-year-old man who tragically lost his life after being struck by a motorist while riding his motorcycle in 2009. The original bill, HB 5438, was co-sponsored by 89 out of 110 Michigan representatives. However, State Representative Terry Brown (D-Pigeon), who sponsored the bill, was instrumental in championing the Nathan Bower Act. As you may recall, it passed unanimously in the Michigan House and Senate before heading to the governor’s desk for his signature. In addition to Rep. Brown’s leadership, advocacy efforts by organizations such as the League of Michigan Bicyclists, as well as from those in the broader Michigan bicycle community, made a significant impact in making this Act a reality.
The signing of this Act ends a long journey for supporters of this bill, and hopefully, it is a sign of things to come. “[This] will help save lives and raise awareness of the need to be alert and responsible when behind the wheel,” Governor Snyder said of Nathan’s Law.
Any questions or comments please contact me at TrooperRob53@yahoo.com or (269) 683-4411.