“Historically, streets were not just for traffic. They were the epicenter of community life – a place for socializing, children’s play, social events… These important functions have been slowly eroded as car traffic has exerted its dominance.”
– David Engwicht, award-winning urban design and transportation consultant
FRAMINGHAM – Traffic safety is becoming a concern among more and more Framingham neighborhoods. Residential streets are experiencing faster and more aggressive driving, an increase in accidents, and dangerous conditions for pedestrians and families at bus stops.
These concerns are magnified on Halloween. The good news is there are plenty of safety measures both drivers and Trick-or-Treaters can take to reduce the chances of accidents.
· Slow down! Drive slowly in and around neighborhoods. The slower you drive through the neighborhood, the faster your car will stop if it becomes necessary to do so suddenly.
· Be vigilant! When driving through neighborhoods, be on the lookout for children who may dart out into the street. Expect the unexpected. Remember, statistics show most juvenile pedestrian fatalities happen at non-intersection locations.
· Pull over to safe locations to let children exit curb-side, away from traffic. Use your hazards to alert other drivers of not only your car, but of children.
· Do not use a cell phone or other mobile device while driving. It is far too dangerous to drive on Halloween while adding further, unnecessary risks.
· Parents should accompany children. Older, unaccompanied children should Trick-or-Treat in a group that stays together.
· Remind children to walk, not run from house to house and to stay on sidewalks instead of walking between cars or on lawns.
· Always cross at intersections and look both ways! On Halloween, children are much more likely to cross in the middle of the block than at crosswalks.
· If walking in the dark, use flashlights, glow sticks, or reflective tape on the costumes so children are more visible to drivers.
Please, let’s all take measures to protect ourselves and each other on Halloween. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween typically is the second deadliest day for pedestrians after New Year’s Day. Drivers, please slow down. These are our neighborhoods. These are our homes. Let’s all be more aware of each other and work together to make our community safer.