Missouri Highway Patrol offers tips for safe trick-or-treating this Halloween weekend

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 5:54 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Halloween is approaching on Sunday and with the upcoming holiday, comes the need for extra safety precautions when kids are out trick-or-treating.

The Rountree Neighborhood is well-known in Springfield for its Halloween festivities. For Heather Eck and her kids, Halloween time in the neighborhood is something special.

“It’s like completely magical here at Halloween,” Eck says. “Lots and lots of kiddos and families and everybody’s dressed up. It seems like a movie.”

Despite all the fun, there’s a big emphasis on safety for the kids. Eck says they not only look both ways before crossing the street, but they also look behind them in case someone may be turning. For her family, they make sure to always use crosswalks.

”Even if we have to go around a block a little bit further,” Eck says.

Sgt. Mike McClure with Missouri Highway Patrol says planning out your costume is really important. Some accessories, like masks and wigs, could impact your ability to see when driving or walking. Because of that, Sgt. McClure recommends wearing makeup instead of a mask.

“A typical plastic Halloween mask that small kiddos will wear, the eye holes in it are fairly small and a child’s not used to wearing a mask so they’re not able to see down as well,” Sgt. McClure says. “They may be tripping and they may trip out into traffic.”

That also applies to adults. If you are driving to a costume party, make sure your costume doesn’t hamper your vision.

Troopers say a light-colored costume is easier for drivers to see at night and adding reflective tape to dark costumes makes them visible. Flame-resistant costumes are the best ones.

Eck says they keep safety in mind even when it comes to costumes.”

“Our kids wear glow sticks for more visibility,” Eck says.

Not only is it important for your kids to have flashlights, glow sticks, or reflectors on their costumes, but it’s also crucial they’re only knocking on well-lit houses.

“Talk to your kids about not going into strangers houses to get candy or their vehicles,” Sgt. McClure says.

Sgt. McClure says traffic patterns are going to be different on Halloween weekend. That’s why it’s important to put down your phone or other distractions when driving.

“You’re gonna find more vehicles stopped in neighborhoods, more vehicles pulled along the side moving about, kids in costumes possibly darting out in the roads,” Sgt. McClure says.

Eck makes sure she stays close by her kids when out on Halloween night. For her, other drivers are a big concern.

“There are so many pedestrians out,” Eck says. “You really need to be on high alert and go way below the speed limit.”

The Missouri Highway Patrol is recommending for adults planning to attend a Halloween party that includes alcohol, to designate a sober driver for the trip home. Troopers say alcohol, even in small amounts, slows reaction time and dulls the senses, meaning driving after you’ve had alcohol could have a deadly result.

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