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ICBC provides safety tips for drivers and pedestrians this Halloween

ICBC is providing safety tips for drivers and pedestrians this Halloween.

ICBC said in a news release that Halloween shouldn’t be a scary time on our roads but historically it has been.

The insurance company’s tips for drivers are as follows:

Stay well below the speed limit. This is essential in residential areas between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. when children are trick-or-treating. Driving slowly will give you more time to react.

Do not pass a slow or stopped vehicle. Have patience on Halloween night. Many drivers will be driving slowly to watch out for trick-or-treaters. If a car is slowing down or stopped in front of you, don’t try to pass the car. They may be stopping to let children cross the road, or stopping for something else you cannot see.

Focus on the road. Leave your phone alone and concentrate on driving. Brightly decorated homes and interesting costumes can easily shift your attention off the road.

Expect the unexpected. Be ready to yield to pedestrians and anticipate children darting across the street or walking in unusual places like driveways, parking lots and alleys. Some children may be extra excited and not realize a vehicle is approaching.

Plan a safe ride home. If your Halloween celebrations involve alcohol, plan a safe ride home before you head out for the night. Arrange for a designated driver or use other options like a taxi, rideshare or transit to get home safely.​

ICBC also released the following tips for pedestrians:

Be bright to be seen. Encourage children to wear lighter-coloured costumes, add reflective tape to their outfit and treat bag, and equip them with a flashlight or headlamp to help them stand out in the dark.

Follow the rules of the road. When trick-or-treating with your child, always walk on sidewalks and cross only at crosswalks. If there is no sidewalk, walk as far to the edge of the road as possible, facing traffic. For older children that are trick-or-treating with friends, review the rules of the road and remind them to work their way up one side of the street, instead of crossing back and forth.

Be careful at intersections. Watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic and not see you.

Make eye contact with drivers. It’s hard to see pedestrians when visibility is poor in the fall. Never assume a driver has seen you.

Between 2016 and 2020, an average of 33 people were injured in 130 collisions on Halloween on Vancouver Island.

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