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Police share tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe

TACOMA, Wash. – Trick-or-treaters will soon be packing the streets in search for sweets in your neighborhood but local police say you shouldn’t leave your house without taking some simple steps to make sure your Halloween is safe.

The good news this year is the weather is supposed to be dry, last year the holiday was soaked by rain.

Halloween also turned tragic in Tacoma when a little boy was hit in the street by a drunk driver in the North Slope neighborhood.

Now police have some easy tips to make sure your trick-or-treaters make it home safe.

North I Street in Tacoma can sometimes look and sound like a freeway.

“Twelve blocks in our most densely populated neighborhood in the city, and I don’t have a crosswalk here,” said Tacoma City Councilmember Robert Thoms. “So, it’s beyond time to do it. Absolutely.”

The ghosts are already out and so are the jack-o-lanterns but there are other things that could be even scarier for your kids.

“It’s kind of like a free for all in their approach to things,” said Tacoma Police Officer Loretta Cool. “They’re not thinking safety first.”

It was this time last year on Halloween night near 9th Street when a 7-year-old boy was hit by a car while trick-or-treating.

The crash happened on busy North I Street where marked crosswalks are hard to find.

“A tremendous set of circumstances,” said Thoms. “There was an impaired driver, raining, just the worst case scenario.”

Thoms says the city is now spending millions of dollars on pedestrian safety and more improvements are being planned for the North Slope neighborhood.

“We’ve been trying to fix this for years now,” he said.

While police say they will be out on the streets looking for bad drivers, families also need to keep a close watch on their kids.

First, make sure you know where both your kids and drivers are.

Second, make Halloween a group activity – the more trick-or-treaters, the more likely drivers will be able to see you.

And last, stay visible. Walk with a flashlight or glow sticks, or make your kid’s costume bright and easy to see.

“It’s fun to be out it’s fun to let the kids run and scream but drivers may not be parents,” said Cool. “They may not be looking out for children darting out from behind a parked car.”

Another tip to keep in mind is to make sure your kid’s costume doesn’t block their vision. Make-up could be a better option for a costume than using a mask which could keep kids from spotting obstacles.

More tips can be found here.