(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi officials are discouraging trick or treating on Halloween this year due to COVID-19 pandemic, but local police are still offering safety tips for those hwo venture out.
In early October, Hawaiʻi Department of Health issued a news release, offering guidance for a safe Halloween in the time of COVID-19. The health officials recommended “celebrating with your household members at home and avoiding traditional door-to-door trick or treating where treats are handed to children or children take candy from a shared bucket.” These are high-risk activities as they can result in close contact and crowding among people outside your household, health officials said.
“It’s more important than ever to put safety first,” said Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char. “Gatherings on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day led to spikes in positive cases in Hawai‘i. This Halloween, be extra mindful as you navigate how to safely celebrate in order to keep the spread of coronavirus as low as possible during this holiday.”
Still, Hawaiʻi island police are reminding the public that COVID-19 does not present the only danger on Halloween. The police department offered these safety tips on Friday:
Wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 isn’t the only way to keep yourself and others safe during this Halloween weekend. If you are out walking this weekend, make yourself visible by wearing light colored or reflective materials, carry a flashlight, and walk facing the flow of traffic. Make sure you’re not distracted by an electronic device and cross the road at an intersection. Drivers don’t expect to see pedestrians on the road in the middle of a block, which can lead to a crash or even worse. Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to get home safely at the end of the night. Alcohol affects judgment, balance, and reaction time. Create a “buddy system” to get each other home safely. Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Drivers can easily make traveling on Halloween much more safe by following a few suggested safety tips.
1.) Avoid using handheld electronic devices.
2.) Remember that as soon as you step out of your car, you become a pedestrian.
3.) If you see a drunk driver or impaired pedestrian on the road, contact local law enforcement.
4.) Be especially alert for all road users, including pedestrians, at night.
5.) Slow down in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited. Keep your windshield clean.
If you attend a small gathering and drink alcohol or consume anything that will impair your ability operate a vehicle safely, don’t drive. Hawaiʻi Police Department Patrol Officers and Traffic Enforcement Units will be out specifically looking for drunk drivers this weekend. If you are under the influence of any substance that prevents driving safely and an officer stops you, you will be arrested. The fines, court fees, attorney fees are all costly, but the impact of a serious crash can carry more than a financial cost. Remember that “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.”