told the four children.
Mrs. Bentz flashed a warm smile and said, "Good choices: a
firefighter, a police officer, and a paramedic, too." Then, a puzzled
look appeared on her face, "I don't understand how your costume fits
in with the other three," she told the fourth child.
The child, who was dressed in a very dark outfit, looked up at
her. "Last year five of us went trick or treating but our friend
Johnny went to cross the street," said the child. "Johnny didn't look
as he ran into the street. Then a drunk driver came down the street
and hit Johnny. The fire- fighters came and the para- medics tried to
help Johnny. The police came and arrested the driver and investigated
the accident. They were the heroes who tried to help, but Johnny
didn't live." The child then looked at his friends and pointed to his
own costume. "We chose the costumes to honor those who tried to help,
but I am the Grim Reaper to remind us all to be safe."
Most people think of Halloween as a time for fun and treats.
However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, roughly four times as many children 5 to 14 are
killed while walking on Halloween evening when compared to other
evenings of the year. And, according to the National Crime Prevention
Council, over 60% of pedestrian/vehicle accidents occur after dark.
More than 30,000 children nationwide are injured each year in
auto-pedestrian accidents. These statistics indicate that traffic
safety should always be a priority for both pedestrians and
drivers--especially on Halloween!
This year, Halloween falls on a Friday. On this day and evening,
there will be heavier than normal pedestrian traffic as children rush
from door to door in the tradition of trick or treating.
Additionally, because it is on a Friday, there will be many more
adult Halloween parties. As you can see by this short story, it is
important to have a designated driver and to be aware of pedestrians.
It is also the responsibility of parents and children to trick or
treat in a safe manner, especially when crossing streets.
Another thing to keep in mind is that daylight saving time ended
Sunday. This means the sun is setting an hour earlier than drivers
Drivers should never assume pedestrians are going to see them.
Pedestrians should never assume drivers are going to see them.
The city of Glendale reminds pedestrians to please remember these
three simple steps before crossing the street: Wait, watch and walk.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!
* LT. DON MEREDITH oversees the Traffic Bureau for the Glendale
Police Department. This is the first in a series of monthly columns,
which are part of the city of Glendale's Pedestrian Safety Campaign.