AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding parents, drivers and children to incorporate safety into their Halloween plans. Adults and kids can avoid a variety of potential dangers by adhering to basic safety practices and using extra caution in areas where trick-or-treaters will be celebrating.
“Trick-or-treaters of various ages will be out for Halloween, and drivers should exercise additional caution, especially watching for children who may suddenly dart into the roadway,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “To help avoid a needless tragedy, slow down, avoid distractions, and don’t drink and drive. If your celebration involves alcohol, always designate a sober driver or choose alternate transportation.”
DPS offers the following tips to keep in mind while driving during Halloween:
• Don’t drink and drive. (Designate a sober driver or take a cab.)
• Eliminate distractions, including the use of mobile devices.
• Slow down; and further reduce speeds in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic.
When planning a trick-or-treat route, parents may visit the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry – which includes a mapping function – to check for offenders who may be living in their neighborhood at https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/SexOffenderRegistry/Search.
Parents can also check the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry for offenders in their neighborhood by downloading the free DPS mobile app for use on iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets. The app provides interactive and easy-to-use maps for searching registered sex offenders by location, name, route and proximity. To see a demonstration of how to search by route using the DPS app, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnsdpxA9Dbk. Individuals are reminded to report suspicious or criminal activity through the mobile app; at www.iwatchtx.org; or by calling 1-844-643-2251.
Make sure you have the most updated version of the app. The app is currently available for iPhone users on the Apple App Store (http://tinyurl.com/kj43lsr) and for Android users on Google Play (http://tinyurl.com/kda7ww8).
Texans can also stay safe by using these Halloween safety tips:
• Look both ways before crossing roadways, and always walk; don’t run.
• Cross the roadway at intersections and crosswalks.
• Travel in groups with adult supervision and in neighborhoods you are familiar with.
• Do not enter the cars or homes of strangers, and avoid homes with porch lights turned off.
• Make sure children know their home phone number and how to call 911 or their local emergency number in case they have an emergency or become lost.
• Take all treats home for an adult to inspect before eating anything, and never eat candy obtained without a wrapper.
Individuals should also follow these tips when selecting a costume:
• Avoid toy guns and knives – they could easily be mistaken for a real weapon.
• Wear costumes that are light in color or place reflective material on the costume, so drivers can see you.
• Avoid using masks, if possible, to allow for better visibility and peripheral vision.
• Carry a flashlight.