AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Halloween safety should begin before tricks or treats. With safety during a spooky season in mind, the department offered a few tips to families on staying safe while trick-or-treating:
- Wear reflective tape
- Use glow sticks
- Carry a flashlight
- Cross the street at well-lit corners
- Pay attention to your surroundings and make sure your children are clearly visible to oncoming traffic
More Halloween safety tips can be found here, said the department.
In the Amarillo area throughout 2021, multiple people have been struck and killed by vehicles while walking on or near a road. Most recently, an overnight accident Monday resulted in the death of one woman near I-40 and Whitaker, whose body was later found by a construction worker.
By June 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that US traffic deaths reached a 13-year high even though people drove fewer miles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the 13% drop in miles traveled by vehicles, pedestrian deaths remained steady and bicyclist deaths were up 5%.
In response to the rise in pedestrian deaths in Texas, state officials with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) launched a campaign to raise awareness and promote safe practices for both drivers and pedestrians, who officials said are among the most vulnerable road users due to a lack of protection.
According to TxDOT, other tips for pedestrians to stay safe on the roads include:
- Cross the street only at intersections or crosswalks. Look left, right, then left again before crossing
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing – Don’t assume drivers see you!
- Obey all traffic and crosswalk signals
- Use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic
- When walking, put away electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road
For drivers, tips from TxDOT included:
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, especially when turning
- Stop for pedestrians at crosswalks
- Be cautious when passing stopped buses or other vehicles
- Avoid distractions and put the phone away
TxDOT said from 2015 to 2019, traffic accidents killed over 3,000 pedestrians. In the Amarillo area alone, as of Sept. 20, 2021, there had been 53 deaths on the roadways.
For the second year in a row, TxDOT has continued to push its goal of having no deaths on Texas roadways by 2050.