Motorists should keep an eye out for children who will be trick or treating today.
Ahead of Hallowe’en, AA Ireland is urging motorists to be safety conscious this year and do their part to keep our roads safe on Thursday night – particularly when driving through estates and cul-de-sacs where a high number of children could be trick-or-treating.
The AA is warning that the darker conditions following the changing of the clocks at the weekend, may lead to reduced visibility on Thursday night, with motorists being urged to be alert to the presence of children trick-or-treating. The motoring organisation is urging drivers who find themselves travelling on Thursday evening to reduce their speed, particularly when driving through built up areas, and to be on the lookout for children who could step onto the street without looking, pedestrians who are accompanying their children while trick-or-treating, and animals who could be startled by fireworks.
“Now that the clocks have gone back, we have entered into the true start of the winter season and motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike will have noticed the darker conditions when commuting home from work in the evening. When you combine this with post-work fatigue, the winter season is always a dangerous time on our roads so it’s important that motorists drive with extra caution over the coming weeks and months and to check that your lights are functioning correctly,” Barry Aldworth, AA Spokesperson stated. “The risk of an accident can be further heightened on Hallowe’en night as there will be an increased number of children on the roads, particularly in estates and built-up areas, as well as the risk of animals being startled by fireworks. It’s important that motorists bear this in mind when travelling on Thursday night and amend their behaviour by slowing down and remaining vigilant, while we would also encourage adults who may be accompanying their children tomorrow night to take some time to discuss the importance of road safety.”
AA Ireland is also encouraging home-owners to make safety a priority and to ensure that any candles, jack-o-lanterns or open flames are kept away from flammable items in their home. Meanwhile, those with pets are being advised to keep them in a quiet, safe part of the house for the evening to minimise the risk of the animal becoming startled and potentially knocking over an open flame.
“There’s a degree of common sense involved in keeping your home safe this time of year, but every year our home insurance team come across cases of homes being damaged by candles or open flames being knocked over accidentally and setting fire to a nearby item. Between excited children or startled animals, it’s easy for a candle to be knocked over so it’s important to be safety conscious if you choose to decorate your home,” Aldworth added. “
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
- Try and keep your pet inside the quietest part of your house and away from candles. A frightened St. Bernard could wreak havoc inside your house! It’s hard to believe, but some people actually get a thrill out of tormenting or harassing pets on Halloween.
- 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.