Trick or Treat from LADOT

10_30_09_bru.jpgI know what the BRU is wearing for Halloween. Photo: The Strategy Center/Flickr

Two years ago I poked the LADOT and LAPD for not putting out safety tips for Halloween.  Sure enough, last year an email arrived in my inbox announcing the Department’s advice to parents, children and drivers on All Hallows Eve.

The LADOT released some very similar looking advice for this year. After a list of good for young pedestrians and their parents; there’s a quote from General Manager Rita Robinson encouraging parents to take the safety of their children seriously.

While there’s nothing to argue with in the content of the release, there is something to say about what the release is missing.  There’s eleven suggestions for parents and children and just a sentence for drivers.  The release should have spent more time on driver safety, after all it takes two to make a crash and distracted drivers are more of a menace tomorrow night than any other night of the year. 

To help out for next year, here are some suggestions for the Halloween 2010 release:

On Halloween evening, there will be more children walking the streets than any other night of the year, some of whom will be wearing dark colored clothing. The LADOT reminds drivers to:

  1. Drive even more slowly than usual on surface streets and residential street
  2. Have your lights on even if it’s not dark
  3. Pay attention to the road at all times.

Any other suggestions?  Feel free to leave them in the comments section.  The release can be found after the jump, which is a especially helpful because the link to the release from the Watch the Road website doesn’t work(update: they’ve updated the link, it works here: ttp://www.ladot.lacity.org/pdf/PDF170.pdf)

LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ANNOUNCES SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR

TRICK-OR-TREATERS ON HALLOWEEN
LOS ANGELES (October 28, 2009)—

The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) wants to remind parents that Halloween is a great time to teach children about pedestrian and traffic safety.

LADOT has issued simple guidelines that will help safeguard children on Halloween night and whenever they walk in their neighborhoods at night.
1.    Adults should accompany children to make sure safety rules are followed.
2.    Cross streets only at intersections and look both ways before crossing a street.
3.    Walk within crosswalks.
4.    Wear white or reflective clothing so that costumes are bright enough to be seen at night by motorists.
5.    Add reflective tape to bags to collect treats.
6.    Choose costumes that are flame-retardant.
7.    Children should carry flashlights.
8.    Walk in well-lit areas.
9.    Remove any masks before crossing streets.
10.    Look before crossing driveways to make sure vehicles are not backing up.
11.    Never cross a street in the middle of the block or between parked vehicles.

The best safety lesson parents can teach to their children is to model the correct pedestrian behavior.
“Halloween is a great time to start,” said Rita L. Robinson, general manager, LADOT. “When children see their parents are cautious and looking both ways before crossing the street, children will internalize the value of being safe citizens,” said Robinson.

LADOT wants to remind drivers that pedestrian safety is their responsibility too and they should drive carefully whenever children are present. Every school day, LADOT crossing guards or traffic officers are assigned to monitor elementary school crossings for student volume, motorist traffic and other factors.

LADOT is dedicated to moving Los Angeles forward as quickly and safely as possible. Drivers, bus riders, bicyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to visit LADOT’s website at www.ladot.lacity.org for information about DASH, Commuter Express, bicycling in the City and an array of transportation services.

For more information about pedestrian safety, visit the Watch the Road website at www.watchtheroad.org.

Area commuters can visit the Department’s website for real-time traffic and parking facilities information. Real-time traffic reports are a product of LADOT, innovators of the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control System (ATSAC) technology.
###

  • M

    -Make sure your headlights are functioning? (this seems like a no brainer, but every single night I’m outside, I see people with non-functioning headlights. It’s surprisingly common)

    And while I am thinking about it, it would be nice if in general, there was a mass effort/push for people to check their headlights and report any non-working street lights light a month before Halloween, which also nicely coincides with the end of daylight savings time, somewhat like the recommendation to deal with smoke detectors batteries when you change your clocks.

  • M

    Another one for car drivers, although this might go along with “pay attention” – avoid any and all texting and phone usage while driving.

  • I think M hit the nail on the head. I’d give drivers the same advice I use everyday when riding my bike: expect other people to do something stupid, then be prepared for it.

    When I’m riding, I watch traffic carefully, and try anticipate the most dangerous, idiotic thing a driver could do in that situation. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it doesn’t happen; but that one time, I’m ready for it — and ready for anything else in between.

    So just expect kids to do something dangerous, whatever that may be, and try to be ready for it. If it doesn’t happen, you’ll have a surprisingly pleasant drive wherever you’re going. And if it does, you’ll be ready to respond safely.

    Or just take the damn bus on Halloween, and let someone else worry about it.

  • Erik G.

    Additions to the LADOT suggestions for drivers:

    -Use the entire pavement and the sidewalk if need be to move your 2-ton freedom instrument. You pay for it with gas tax, they don’t.

    -Remember that when you have the light, you have the right of way!

    -If a cop doesn’t see it in person, it didn’t happen.

    -Right turns on red do NOT require you to stop, and please only look to your left when performing them.

    -Speed limits are an imposition of government tyranny. The road is engineered for 10 to 15 mph higher speeds; my cousin told me so!

    -New car? Keep those dealer plate thingys on as long as possible!

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