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Authorities will be looking out for kids on Halloween

POSTED: October 30, 2008 5:00 a.m.

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Children likely will be buzzing this week about the costumes they’ll wear and the candy they’ll get on Halloween.

One thing that might not be so pressing on their minds — but sure is a concern of area law enforcement — is their safety as they go door to door.

Officials with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and Gainesville Police Department said they’ll be stepping up patrols Friday, as the sun goes down and trick-or-treaters hit the streets.

"We will have our traffic enforcement officers assigned to the neighborhoods instead of the main highways," said Col. Jeff Strickland, sheriff’s office spokesman.

"(That’s) because of the high concentration of pedestrian traffic, with the children out going door to door and their parents often in their cars."

Also, deputies will be "vigilant and on the lookout for anyone driving under the influence," Strickland added.

Lt. Brian P. Kelly said Gainesville police also will be looking for speeders.

His message for motorists is a simple one.

"Be safe, be cautious, watch for all the children crossing the street," Kelly said. "Unfortunately, a lot of them may not be using the crosswalk."

Basically, "keep an eye out for little ghosts and goblins."

Strickland said parents can make conditions safer if they give their children flashlights to carry with them.

Bob Dallas, director of the
Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said drivers need to remember "that on this special night, most kids have only one thing on their minds and it’s ... trick-or-treat."

Here are some other tips from the safety office:

  • Parents should accompany children around their neighborhoods and hold hands when crossing streets.
  • Encourage older children to travel in groups.
  • Remind children how to cross a street: look left, right and left again before crossing.
  • Use makeup rather than masks so children have unobstructed vision.
  • Carry a cell phone for emergency situations.
  • Tell children to cross only at corners or crosswalks.
  • Stay on sidewalks where possible. Where there are no sidewalks, walk against traffic so you can take evasive action sooner.


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