Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety is joining with the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office to encourage youth and teens to make good choices and celebrate responsibly as part of the statewide Halloween Safety Campaign.
The campaign’s focus is to prevent a tragedy on what is supposed to be a fun night for youth.
Over the next week, schools and youth groups across the Commonwealth are participating in the peer-to-peer campaign by organizing programs and activities to promote safe and responsible celebrations for Halloween. Participating schools will be displaying Halloween safety banners and posters with the message: “Driving Safely is the Trick, Getting Home Safely is the Treat. Buckle Up, Celebrate Without Drugs or Alcohol.” They will also be distributing pledge cards and flashlight key chains, and making announcements before and after school to promote a safe Halloween.
The campaign also provides an opportunity for high school students to talk with students at their local preschool, elementary and middle schools about trick-or-treat safety and being safe pedestrians on Halloween night. The message for younger students will be on buckling up, being seen while trick or treating, and making good choices.
YOVASO staff say irresponsible driving behaviors such as underage drinking and driving as well as texting and driving can be even more deadly on Halloween night when young children are out trick-or-treating on neighborhood streets. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 168 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1).* Approximately 44 percent of all fatalities on Halloween night were crashes involving a drunk driver.*
“It is important for parents and schools to remind teens to drive safely and make good choices when out celebrating this weekend and on Halloween night,” said Mary King, YOVASO Program Manager. “Poor decisions, such as texting and driving, underage drinking and drug use, speeding, and forgetting to buckle up while out celebrating can ruin what is supposed to be a fun occasion. Driving safely and avoiding distractions becomes even more critical on Halloween night when young children will be trick-or-treating in neighborhoods.”
More information and safety tips can be found on the YOVASO website: https://www.yovaso.org/halloween-campaign.