Keep an eye out for children trick or treating this weekend!
With Halloween just around the corner, The AA is urging motorists to be on the look-out for witches, wizards, zombies and more this Bank Holiday weekend.
While the holiday can be a fun and enjoyable night for adults and children alike, drivers are reminded to exercise additional caution while on the roads and particularly when driving through housing estates with children out trick or treating.
According to weather reports there is a risk of rainfall on both Sunday and Monday, although heavy rainfall is not expected. However, motorists should reduce their speed and allow a greater braking distance if driving on wet roads. Furthermore, reduced visibility at night can make it more difficult for drivers to see vulnerable road users, such as children, meaning extra vigilance will be needed for those behind the wheel.
"With reduced hours of daylight it will be more difficult to see pedestrians in general, but particularly children some of whom will be dressed in dark costumes on Hallowe’en night." says Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs, AA Ireland. “It is vital that motorists exercise additional caution because children can be unpredictable and, given the excitement of the night, could easily run across the road without unexpectedly,” says Conor.
Furthermore, care is also needed approaching parks and fields where bonfires may take place as visibility may be somewhat reduced due to smoke fumes.
With all the excitement that goes with the festivities road users are reminded that children pose a greater risk of unpredictable behaviour, such as running onto the road without checking for oncoming traffic. For this reason, The AA are also advising that children under the age of 12 be accompanied by at least one adult and encourages trick-or-treaters to use pedestrian lights where possible.
“Roads are dangerous and even more so in the hours of darkness. We can’t expect small children to know all the hazards and think to check for traffic every time they cross the road. It is important for parents to keep kids out of harm’s way, and motorists must also do their part by slowing down, staying alert for children and driving with additional caution,” says Conor.
The AA’s top tricks to ensure this Halloween is a treat:
Motorists need to reduce speed and drive with extreme caution particularly in areas where children are likely to be present
Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult
Parents should choose costumes wisely - that are flame resistant, bright, reflective and doesn’t obstruct vision that they can see where they’re going
Make necessary alterations to costumes to prevent the risk of tripping
Before engaging in Halloween festivities, parents should have a talk with children about the rules of the road, remembering to: only cross at corners of the road and not between parked cars, obey traffic lights as well as stop, look and listen before proceeding to cross the road
Give children a torch or a glow light to ensure maximum visibility
Parents will need to be extra diligent as small children will be caught up in the excitement of the festivities.