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Oct 26, 2009 10:35 AM by sleonard

Halloween 2009 poses special risks for pedestrians and motorists

BATON ROUGE-The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is warning that Halloween 2009 in Louisiana poses special safety challenges to the thousands of young trick-or-treaters, adult party-goers and football tailgaters who will be walking or riding through neighborhoods after dark.
"Halloween this year is both on a Saturday night and on the same day that many college football games are played across Louisiana," said Lt. Col. John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. "These factors plus Louisiana's high rate of pedestrian deaths require everyone to be especially cautious this Halloween."
While Halloween was traditionally for children, more recently many adults have joined in with celebrations involving alcohol at parties in homes and bars. In addition to such celebrations, many football tailgaters will be consuming alcohol before and after football games.
In 2008, pedestrians accounted for 12 percent of all the traffic deaths in Louisiana, and more than a third of the pedestrians killed had been drinking. More pedestrians were killed in October than in any other month last year. More than 44 percent of the pedestrian deaths last year occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight.
The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission recommends that in celebrating Halloween motorists follow certain guidelines.
· Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before going out to a party or tailgating.
· If you become impaired, call a taxi or get a ride home with a friend or family member.
· Drive slowly and watch for children crossing streets.
· Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.
· Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs.

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