ICBC is reminding drivers and trick-or-treaters to be safe this Halloween season.
“It’s a very fun and eventful day for many British Columbians, it’s a very unique day as well, there’s lots of things that happen on Halloween night that don’t happen on any other day of the year,” said ICBC Spokesperson Greg Harper.
“This time of year we like to send a message out to not only drivers, but pedestrians as well to take extra precaution because Halloween, although it’s a fun and exciting time, it can be potentially dangerous as well.”
According to ICBC, an average of eight people are injured in 55 crashes in the North Central Region each year. (Five year average during the 24 hour period on October 31st, 2017-2021)
Province-wide, there were 640 crashes that resulted in 240 injuries last year.
Harper gave the following tips for drivers to be safe on the spookiest night of the year:
Watch your speed:
“In some areas on Halloween, expect that you’ll be driving well below the speed limit, and managing your speed is so essential in residential areas where children may be out trick-or-treating on Halloween night,” Harper explained.
“Driving at a manageable speed will give you more time to stop if you need to do so suddenly. If you’re traveling 30 kilometres per hour, you need roughly about 18 metres to stop, that’s the length of four cars.”
Scan the road, not your phone:
“Distracted driving is one of the main factors in crashes involving pedestrians,” Harper said.
“With so many children and teenagers out on Halloween night, it’s important to stay focused on the road, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.”
“Many drivers will be moving slowly as they watch out for trick-or-treaters, if you see or notice a vehicle that is slowing down or is stopped, don’t pass that vehicle,” Harper said.
“That vehicle may be stopped for a reason, there may be a child that’s darted out across the road, or maybe there’s something that’s happening ahead that you can’t see.”
Don’t be surprised:
“Even if you’re driving in an area you’re quite familiar with, there may be children, teenagers, people darting out of areas that normally isn’t the case,” Harper said.
The onus to be safe isn’t just on drivers to keep everyone safe while trick or treating, but pedestrians as well.
Harper has the following tips for pedestrians:
Be reflective and easy to see:
“We’re encouraging parents to encourage their children to dress up in costumes that are lighter in colour, and put some reflected tape on that costume or on the trick-or-treat bag,” Harper said.
“A flashlight is a great idea, maybe even a headlamp, you want to make yourself as visible as possible so that you can stand out in the dark.”
Plan a safe route:
“It’s best to have a trick-or-treat route that is familiar, that is away from busy main roads if possible,” Harper said.
“Organize a big group if possible, that will make it easier for drivers to see you, and safer for everyone walking on Halloween night.”
Don’t stray from the rules of the road:
“If you’re out there and there’s sidewalks, walk along the sidewalks, and use the crosswalks, don’t just dart across the road,” Harper explained.
“If there is no sidewalk, I know that can sometimes be the case, walk as far to the edge of the road as possible, facing traffic.”