With Halloween coming soon, Clark County is reminding the public of its annual "Inside by 9" campaign to encourage pedestrian safety on what can be one of the most dangerous nights of the year for children.
The campaign, now in its third year, encourages parents to make sure their trick or treating children are home by 9 p.m., and for local participating household to voluntarily turn off their porch lights at that time to discourage trick or treaters from knocking on their doors. The campaign's website at www.Insideby9.com contains safety tips for pedestrians and motorists, TV Public Service Announcements in English and Spanish, and a list of many Halloween events happening this month at County parks and community centers.
"We want everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween, but it can be a very dangerous holiday night for children," said Clark County Commission Vice Chairman Lawrence Weekly, who called for the safety effort. "We want pedestrians and motorists alike to be aware of their surroundings when trick or treaters are out and about on sidewalks and crossing streets. Calling it a night at 9 p.m. also helps reduce the potential for harm."
The "Inside by 9" campaign includes 30-second television spots in English and Spanish that have been shared with local media, posted on the campaign's website, and shared on the County's social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, NextDoor and Tumblr. Cardboard cutouts of the star of the PSA campaign – a Wizard-of-Oz style bad witch with a green face – also will appear at community events so attendees can take selfies with the character. Local bilingual actress Vanessa Lopez played the good witch and bad witch in the PSA. The community is encouraged to share the PSA and other campaign content on social media using the hashtag #InsideBy9. Fliers with safety tips also will be handed out at community events including the Clark County Fire Department's open house from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Fire Station 17, 5110 Andover, near Tropicana and Boulder Highway.
Officials recommend that adults always escort trick or treaters and trick or treaters wear some type of reflective clothing or carry a source of light to increase their visibility. Motorists and pedestrians should also pay close attention to their surroundings. Safety tips handouts are available in English and Spanish on the Insideby9 website. Tips include:
- Drive slowly, especially in residential neighborhoods, and be prepared to stop when children are present; know that dark costumes may present a visual challenge for you as you drive.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and curbs, and around corners. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unexpected ways.
- Avoid activities that distract your attention while driving such as talking on your cell phone or eating.
- Be very cautious turning into driveways and backing out, especially where hedges and bushes may block your vision.
- Watch for pets that may be running loose.
Trick or Treaters & Neighborhood Safety
- Never trick or treat alone. Young children should always go trick or treating with an adult.
- All children should walk, not run, from house to house, and use sidewalks, not roads. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- It's best to trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.
- Wear costumes that allow you to be seen by drivers. Choose bright or light-colored clothing; decorate bags and costumes with reflective tape or stickers.
- Use face paint rather than masks or things that will cover your eyes. Costumes should be made of fire-resistant materials; avoid costumes with long, trailing fabric.
- Carry a cell phone with you and light your way with a flashlight.
- Cross the street safely at corners using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look both ways before you cross, and keep looking as you walk.
- Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up; don't dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
- Only visit homes that have the porch light on.
- Accept your treats only at the door, and never go into a stranger's house.
- Beware of jack-o-lanterns lit with candles, which are a fire hazard. It's safer for households to use battery-operated candles or glow-sticks in jack-o-lanterns.
- Have grownups inspect your candy before eating. Don't eat candy if the package is already opened. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.