October 29, 2018
Halloween is meant to be a fun celebration, but it can also be risky if parents, children and drivers don't take precautions. Last Halloween, there were 950 crashes, resulting in 280 injuries in B.C.*
With Halloween celebrations starting this weekend, here are ICBC's tips to help keep ghosts and goblins of all ages safe:
Stay well below the speed limit: Drive well below the speed limit in residential areas, especially between 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the peak period for trick-or-treating. A car going 30 km/hr needs about travels 18 metres – the length of four cars – in order to come to a complete stop. Driving at a lower speed will give you more time to stop in case a child runs across the street unexpectedly.
Scan as you drive: Children may be walking in unexpected places like driveways, alleys and parking lots. Drive slowly and be prepared to stop at a moment's notice.
Don't roll through stop signs or intersections: Come to a full stop at all intersections take the time to scan crosswalk and street corners. Small children can be difficult to see, especially when wearing a dark costume.
Do not pass a slow or stopped vehicle: Have patience on Halloween night. Many drivers will be driving slowly to watch out for trick-or-treaters. If a car is slowing down or stopped in front of you, don't try to pass the car. They may be stopping to let children cross the road, or stopping for something else you cannot see.
Make sure the costume fits: A costume that's too big or small could cause a child to trip and fall, causing injury.
Be bright to be seen: Many costumes are quite dark, making your child less visible at night. Try to nudge your child toward a lighter costume. Add reflective tape to their outfit and treat bag, and get them to use a flashlight or headlamp to help them stand out in the dark.
Create a safe route: If your kids are trick-or-treating without you, plan a safe route for your children and their friends. The best route should be familiar, well-established, direct and away from busy main roads. Establish a return time.
Travel in groups: Organize a group to trick-or-treat together. Walking in a group will make you and your children more visible to drivers.
Follow the rules of the road: Always walk on sidewalks and cross only at crosswalks when travelling with your child. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far to the edge as possible, facing traffic. For older children that are trick-or-treating with friends, review the rules and remind them to work their way up one side of the street, instead of crossing back and forth.
Consider other ways to celebrate: Instead of traditional trick-or-treating, consider hosting a Halloween party for your child and their friends, attending a Halloween party if offered at local community centres, or taking your child to a local shopping centre that offers trick-or-treating opportunities in a well-lit, controlled environment.
Plan for a safe ride home: If your Halloween celebrations involve alcohol, make a plan before you head out. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options to get home safely—call a taxi, take transit or call a sober friend.
Light fireworks safely: In areas that allow the purchase of fireworks, light your fireworks in a clear, open and safe space. Lighting fireworks on the road is not safe for you or drivers.
In 2017, there were 600 crashes and 200 injured on Halloween in the Lower Mainland.
In 2017, there were 140 crashes and 27 injured on Halloween on Vancouver Island.
In 2017, there were 120 crashes and 30 injured on Halloween in the Southern Interior.
In 2017, there were 66 crashes and 13 injured on Halloween in the North Central region.
*Crashes and injuries are from ICBC 2017 data for the 24-hour period on October 31.