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THP Urges Motorists Beware: Drunk Driving Will Not Be Tolerated

 

The Tennessee Highway Patrol LogoNashville, TN – The Tennessee Highway Patrol will do its part to ensure those celebrating Halloween enjoy the fall tradition responsibly and safely. Trick-or-treaters, parents and adult party goers are encouraged to follow a few simple rules to avoid becoming a scary statistic.

“Halloween is often one of the deadliest nights of the year for impaired drivers,” said Department of Safety Commissioner Dave Mitchell. “The decision to prevent a horrible accident from happening is easy – don’t drink and drive. Our State Troopers are prepared to patrol and remove any and all drunk drivers from our roadways.”  

Nearly 5,000 people in the U.S. died in crashes during the Halloween time period from 1996-2005. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2008, 58 percent of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.

Last year in Tennessee, two people were killed in two crashes on Halloween between midnight, October 31st, 2009, through 6:00am, November 1st, 2009. Both of those crashes involved alcohol. That compares to seven people killed in six crashes on Halloween during the same time period in 2008. Four out of the six fatal crashes in 2008 involved alcohol.

“Our Halloween plea to everyone is to keep the party off the road,” said THP Colonel Tracy Trott. “If you’ve been drinking, don’t make the poor decision to get behind the wheel – it could cost someone their life, maybe even your own. So please be smart; it’s not worth the risk.”

Tennessee Highway PatrolPartygoers, parents and children alike have a responsibility to be safe this Halloween. Simple precautions for partygoers include designating a sober driver in advance or taking a taxi, while parental guardians should closely watch children and teach them to obey safety rules.

Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrian injuries and deaths among young children. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that the number of deaths among young pedestrians (ages 5-14) is four times higher on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Thirty-eight percent of all young (under age 16) pedestrian fatalities occurred between 3:00pm and 7:00pm, and alcohol involvement – either for the driver or pedestrian – was reported in 48 percent of traffic crashes that resulted in pedestrian fatalities.

Below are tips parents, children and motorists should keep in mind before heading out the door this Halloween. Sobriety and Driver License checkpoints for the Halloween weekend are also listed.

Halloween Safety Tips

Tips for Motorists

  • Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs.
  • Be extra alert when pulling in and out of driveways.
  • Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they are not paying attention.
  • Do not pass other vehicles that have stopped in the roadway.  They could be dropping off children.
  • If you are driving to a Halloween Party, put your mask on after you park the car.
  • Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.

Tips for Parents

  • Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their “trick or treat” activities.
  • Teach children to “stop, look left-right-left, and listen” before they cross the street.
  • Instruct children to stay on sidewalks and to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
  • Use a flashlight and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
  • Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
  • Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.

Tips for Pedestrians

(children and adults)

  • Require children to wear retro-reflective materials and carry a flashlight at dawn and dusk and in other low-light situations, such as rainy or foggy weather.
  • Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
  • Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.
  • Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
  • When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

Sobriety and Driver License checkpoints

Sobriety and Driver License checkpoints

Sobriety and Driver License checkpoints

About The Tennessee Department of Safety

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s mission is (www.TN.Gov/safety) to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public.  The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.


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