McHenry County police enforcing Halloween safety during trick-or-treating

Children trick or treat Oct. 31, 2016, during the annual Halloween Handout in downtown Crystal Lake.
Children trick or treat Oct. 31, 2016, during the annual Halloween Handout in downtown Crystal Lake.

The Lake in the Hills and Crystal Lake police departments are reminding motorists of the dangers of impaired driving, particularly on Halloween.

The holiday is considered one of the most dangerous; on average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared with other days of the year.

Special patrols in Lake in the Hills will be conducted through Thursday to crack down on alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers and reinforce seat belt safety.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign urges everyone to follow these simple tips to help keep McHenry County’s roads safe during Halloween:

• Plan a safe way to get home before you attend a party.

• If you are hosting a Halloween party, offer plenty of snacks and nonalcoholic drinks for designated drivers.

• Designate a sober driver, take public transportation, use your favorite ride-sharing service or call a sober friend or family member to get home.

• Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as driving impaired. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact local law enforcement as soon as it is safe to do so.

• If you see an impaired person about to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely.

• Buckle up. It’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

Simple precautions can make Halloween a fun and safe night for kids of all ages. For parents with young kids who will be trick-or-treating, follow these tips:

• Make sure they stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.

• Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.

• Carry a cellphone for quick communication.

• Remain on well-lit streets and always use sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the side as possible.

• Never cut across yards.

• Cross the street at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks. Remind children to watch for cars that are turning or backing up.

• Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops doesn’t mean others also will.

The Halloween enforcement effort is made possible by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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