Aside from a few smashed pumpkins and inappropriate use of fireworks, Halloween the past number of years in Pictou County has been relatively quiet, says Const. Ken MacDonald, of the New Glasgow Regional Police Service.
Still both the New Glasgow police and RCMP are encouraging people to use caution on Halloween night.
The majority of trick-or-treaters are out between 5 and 9 p.m., MacDonald said. It’s during that time that extra vigilance is needed both on the part of pedestrians and drivers, he said.
He said one of the biggest problems is distracted driving on Halloween because people are often watching their kids and not paying attention to the road. He encourages drivers to be aware of their surroundings and for trick-or-treaters to wear reflective tape on their costumes so they can be easily seen.
Police will be out in greater numbers in both marked and unmarked vehicles, he said. They’ll be patrolling in particular residential areas as well as parks and trails.
Here are some tips provided by the RCMP for keeping the holiday safe.
· Never trick-or-treat alone. Always walk with an adult or a group of friends.
· Make sure you can be seen. Wear reflective, brightly coloured costumes, or fasten reflective tape to your costume or bag. Avoid masks that restrict your vision.
· Only visit well-lit houses.
· Don’t go into the house for your treats; always wait outside.
· Don’t eat any treats until an adult has inspected them.
· Carry a flashlight so you can see where you are going.
· Don’t criss-cross the street or run out from between parked cars. Always go down one side of the street, cross at the corner, and then go down the other side.
· Watch for cars pulling out of driveways and backing up.
· Watch for open flames from jack-o-lanterns and displays.
· Don’t trample through gardens or bushes. Always use pathways and sidewalks.
· Halloween means there will be children on the streets. Drivers need to use extra caution. With the excitement of Halloween, children may forget simple pedestrian safety rules.
· Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more likely to be trick-or-treating. Reduce your speed and stay alert.
· Slow down and proceed with caution when entering and exiting driveways or backing up.
· Keep your home and doorway well lit. Clear sidewalks and pathways for safety.
· Avoid using open flames in any displays.