As Nassau children gear up for Halloween, County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Police Commissioner Thomas V. Dale are advising parents, drivers and trick-or-treaters to take some basic precautions to ensure they have a safe holiday.
County Executive Mangano stated, “We want residents to have a safe Halloween and therefore ask parents to share important safety tips with their children.”
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that the number of deaths among young pedestrians nationwide increases 4.5 times on Halloween evening as compared to the same time during all other nights of the year. Children who are trick-or-treating are especially at risk for pedestrian injury as they are more likely to cross streets in the middle of the block rather than at corners or crosswalks.
As the increase in pedestrian traffic may cause distractions, County Executive Mangano and Commissioner Dale urged drivers to be on alert, to proceed slowly through local streets and make sure they obey all traffic signs and signals.
Parents with small children and teens walking door-to-door are advised to travel up one side of the street and down the other, making sure to cross at the corner or crosswalk. Trick-or-Treating in groups in well-lit neighborhoods will increase visibility and walking on the sidewalk, rather than cutting across yards or driveways, will mean less chance of stumbling and falling.
County Executive Mangano and Commissioner Dale recommend costumes that are brightly colored and can be more easily seen as well as shoes that fit properly. Masks that obstruct vision should be avoided as well as costumes that drag on the ground. Always carry a flashlight at night. Wearing a watch that can be read in the dark is helpful and older children, who are not being escorted by an adult, should carry a cell phone along with some form of identification.
Parents should know exactly where their children are going to be, when they should be heading home, and a detailed description of what they are wearing. Homeowners should make sure their yards are clear of any item that could create an obstacle or danger; such as a ladder, hose, dog leash or flowerpot.
Pets may become frightened or agitated by the bell ringing or door knocking as well as strangers approaching the house, so homeowners should keep pets inside and protected.
County Executive Mangano and Commissioner Dale urged everyone to be respectful while visiting neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat. The Nassau County Police Department will be utilizing marked and unmarked patrol vehicles to deter malicious property damage and other potential unlawful incidents.