With little ghosts and goblins taking to the sidewalks tonight in search of candy, motorists face the added responsibility of driving safer than normal.
Because of the increased foot traffic from trick-or-treaters and their parents, the potential for automobile-related accidents involving young pedestrians increases four times on Halloween, according to a Centers for Disease Control study.
In Grayson County, trick-or-treaters are supposed to go door-to-door between 5 and 8 p.m. in Leitchfield, Caneyville and Clarkson.
Another spot where motorists will face candy-related congestion is the area around the Grayson County Fairgrounds, where “Safe Spot” is held from 5 to 8 p.m.
Event organizer Angie Jones said an average of 3,000 kids have shown up at the Safe Spot for the last few years, and around the same turn-out is expected this Halloween.
The Anneta Volunteer Fire Department will host a “Trunk-or-Treat” event in the fire station parking lot, starting at 4 p.m. and continuing until dark.
First Baptist Church in Leitchfield will also be having a “Trunk-or-Treat” event from 6 to 8 p.m., which will include candy, popcorn and cotton candy as well as a hayride, a 52-feet-long obstacle course, and a “Moon Bounce.” All children are welcome to attend, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Besides watching out for kids darting into the streets and distracted parents driving slowly following their kids, motorists should:
* Avoid using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.
* Pay extra attention, particularly at crosswalks, intersections and areas with lots of parked cars.
* Stay below the posted speed limits in residential areas during trick-or-treat hours.
Parents should make sure their kids have flashlights, glow sticks or reflective tape on their costumes to make them more visible to drivers. They also should warn kids not to shine flashlights into the driver’s area of a vehicle, to help avoid temporarily blinding the driver.
When letting kids out in a neighborhood or picking them up, pull off the road into a safe spot and use your hazard lights.
If you leave your car parked while going door-to-door with your kids, leave the hazard lights on.
Parents also might want to take extra care to bundle trick-or-treaters up this year. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures won’t warm today much above the mid-50s. With skies expected to clear tonight and winds dying down, the mercury could dip into the high 20s to low 30s in spots.