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ICBC asking parents and drivers to help keep kids safe this Halloween

October 28, 2013 

On Halloween night, an average of 130 people are injured in 90 crashes across the province.* With trick-or-treaters knocking on doors on Thursday and Halloween parties this weekend, ICBC is asking drivers to be extra cautious on our roads and for parents to make a plan to help keep their children safe this Halloween.

“As a parent myself, I know how excited children are about trick-or-treating and their safety on the road may not be top of mind for them,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “That’s why the onus is on us as parents, and as drivers, to make sure children across the province have a fun and safe Halloween.”

“Kids love to have fun on Halloween, and that can mean popping out from behind bushes to scare their friends or wearing the dark costumes of their favourite characters,” said Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice. “While this is what makes the night memorable, it’s also what can make them disappear from sight for drivers on the road. Parents can add reflective stickers to their child’s candy bag and drivers should be sure to go very slow, especially through residential neighbourhoods.”

“Halloween season evening is a time when all drivers need to be smart, slow down and be ready for the unexpected, particularly in residential areas where our precious children will be moving from house to house and often crossing the road,” said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Chair of the Traffic Safety Committee of the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police.

“We encourage parents to join their children for trick-or-treating on Halloween,” said John Dickinson, ICBC’s director of road safety. “Not only will you have a lot of fun but you’ll also be able to help your children stay safe and find good places to cross roads.”
Here are ICBC’s spooktacular safety tips for parents and drivers:

Tips for parents:

  • Dress to be seen: Let’s not spoil our kids’ fun. Halloween is about putting on spooky outfits – but that often involves dark colours. A good solution is to buy reflective tape that you can add to the outfit or even to children’s shoes or bags to help them stand out against the dark road.
  • The best ghouls see everything: Masks are a key part of many Halloween costumes but it’s important that it doesn’t hinder your child’s ability to see what’s going on around them. Put the mask over your own face to check the visibility and make any necessary adjustments.
  • The best ghouls hear everything too: As adults, we know that hearing is just as important as seeing when it comes to safety around roads. Remind your children not to use their cellphone or listen to their iPod.
  • Safety in numbers: If you’ll be walking outside on this spookiest of nights, walk in numbers to help drivers and others see you and your children. Be sure to have an appropriate number of adults to accompany the children.
  • Gone haunting: If your kids are heading out for some trick-or-treating fun without you, help them plan a safe route ahead of time. Consider a route that takes them through a quiet residential area away from busy main roads and parking lots. Remind them to cross streets at designated crossing points.

Tips for drivers:

  • A fright’s just around the corner: Drivers need to slow down and expect the unexpected. Children are likely caught up in the excitement of Halloween and may forget the rules of the road so slow down and be especially alert in residential areas. Limit any distractions in your car so you can focus your full attention on the road.
  • The ghouls may not notice you: Children may have very limited visibility while wearing masks and costumes so don’t assume they see you approaching. Always yield to pedestrians – by doing so, you help ensure they cross the road safely.
  • Beware of those dark alleys: Surprises often lurk in the darkest of places so enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Watch for little trick-or-treaters when backing up.
  • Don’t end on a true scare: If you’re hosting or attending a Halloween party, always make sure there are options for everyone to get home safely, such as designated drivers, transit or taxi numbers on hand.

For more road safety tips, visit

Regional statistics

On average, on Halloween night, approximately*:

  • 90 people are injured in 70 crashes in the Lower Mainland.
  • 14 people are injured in 10 crashes on Vancouver Island.
  • five people are injured in three crashes in the North Central region.
  • 16 people are injured in nine crashes in the Southern Interior.

*Statistics are based on ICBC data over the last five years (2008 to 2012) on Halloween between 3 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Crashes are casualty crashes, where there was at least one person injured or killed.

Media contact:

Kathy Taylor