NMDOT NEWS RELEASE
October is Pedestrian Safety Month. The goal is to increase awareness around pedestrian safety and remind drivers to watch for pedestrians each time they are behind the wheel.
“Halloween evening is one of the most dangerous times for pedestrians, especially children but trick-or-treaters aren’t the only ones who need to watch out,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval. “Drivers and walkers bear dual responsibility for pedestrian safety, and that is true all year long.”
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, New Mexico ranked the highest in the nation for pedestrian fatalities per capita in 2020 with 54 fatalities that year. In addition, children are three times more likely to be struck and killed by a vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year. Children are at greater risk of injury than adults because they are small, have trouble judging distance and speeds and have little to no experience with traffic rules.
This Halloween, motorists, parents, and pedestrians of all ages are encouraged to stay alert and follow simple safety practices as they navigate the streets and roadways.
- Light the way. Bring glow sticks or a flashlight with extra batteries to see and be seen in the dark.
- Be visible. Put reflective tape on clothes, costumes, and trick-or-treat bags to make them more visible to passing motorists.
- Use the crosswalk. Cross the street at a crosswalk or intersections. Never cross the street from between parked cars.
- Stay on the sidewalk. If available, use the sidewalk. Otherwise walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
- Pay attention and stay off your phone. Distracted walking can be as hazardous as distracted driving so watch where you are going.
- Review traffic safety. Talk to trick-or-treater about basic traffic laws before leaving the house.
- Practice defensive driving. Be cautious and stay alert to reduce the risk of getting into a crash. Enter and exit driveways carefully.
- Put down your phone. Place your phone in the glovebox or back seat.
- Watch your speed. Pay attention to the speed limit and drive slower when around pedestrians.
- Be prepared to stop. Trick-or-treaters may ignore crosswalks and traffic signals so stay alert. Do not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk – they may be stopped for a pedestrian.
- Do not drive under the influence. Every 50 minutes, one person in the United States dies in a motor vehicle crash that involves an alcohol-impaired driver.
- Properly buckle kids no matter how short the trip. Properly secure children in their car seats, booster seats, and seat belts when transporting them and make sure their costumes don’t interfere with the restraint.