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Transportation Secretary Slater Urges Special Effort by Parents, Children To Stop, Look, Listen on Halloween

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

Transportation Secretary Slater Urges Special Effort by Parents, Children To Stop, Look, Listen on Halloween

October 26, 1998

NHTSA 72-98
Monday October 26, 1998
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today urged all motorists, parents and children to take special safety precautions when walking, biking or driving on Halloween, Oct. 31.

"Safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority," Secretary Slater said. "Halloween is really special for children and they may be concentrating on the excitement of the evening's activities, so adults should pay particular attention to their safety."

Ricardo Martinez, M.D., who heads the department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, compiled a list of safety tips to help protect not only the nation's little ghosts and goblins as they walk the streets on Halloween but also their adult counterparts going to costume parties and other events. He said motorists should be especially careful when driving through residential areas.

"Be careful. Halloween costumes often restrict sight, hearing and movement and thus add risk to driving, biking and walking," Dr. Martinez said.

Dr. Martinez offered the following safety tips for motorists:

* Slow down. Watch for children walking on roads, medians and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully.
* Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs.
* Adults should accompany children at all times and supervise their activities.
* Keep in mind that kids may be excited and forget to "Stop, look, and listen" before they cross the street.

He offered the additional safety precautions for parents to share with children:

* 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.
* Use a flashlight and wear reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
* Walk on sidewalks, not streets. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
* Be certain that the mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
* Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.


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