DPS Reminds Texans of Safety Tips for Halloween

AUSTIN, October 30, 2014 – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging drivers to use extra caution in areas where children are likely to be gathering this Halloween. DPS is also encouraging parents and trick-or-treaters to make safety a priority.

“Halloween can be a fun time for children and families, and we encourage Texans to enjoy this time responsibly,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Drivers can do their part to keep Halloween celebrations safe by using extra caution and watching out for pedestrians along neighborhood streets. Parents and children should also keep safety tips in mind while trick-or-treating.”

Drivers should expect and be prepared for children and adults walking along streets and in neighborhoods. DPS offers the following tips to help ensure the safety of Texans on our roadways during Halloween:

Don’t drink and drive. (Designate a sober driver or take a cab.)
Eliminate distractions, including the usage of mobile devices.
Slow down; and further reduce speeds in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic.

Parents can check the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry for offenders in their neighborhood by downloading the free DPS mobile app for use on iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets. The app provides interactive and easy-to-use maps for searching registered sex offenders by location, name, route and proximity. Users can also report suspicious or criminal activity with the mobile app. (Do not use the DPS app when your vehicle is moving.)

The app is currently available for iPhone users on the Apple App Store (http://tinyurl.com/kj43lsr) and for Android users on Google Play (http://tinyurl.com/kda7ww8). The Texas Public Sex Offender Registry is also available online at: https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/SexOffender/PublicSite/Index.aspx.

Texans can also stay safe by using these Halloween safety tips:

Look both ways before crossing roadways, and always walk; don’t run.
Cross the roadway at intersections and crosswalks.
Travel in groups with adult supervision.
Do not enter the cars or homes of strangers, and avoid homes without visible porch lights.
Make sure children know their home phone number and how to call 911 or their local emergency number in case they have an emergency or become lost.
Take all treats home for an adult to inspect before eating anything, and never eat unwrapped candy.

Individuals should also keep the following tips in mind when selecting a costume:

Avoid toy guns and knives – they could be mistaken for a real weapon.
Wear costumes that are light in color, or place reflective material on the costume, so drivers can see you.
Consider using face paint instead of masks to allow for better visibility and peripheral vision.
Carry a flashlight.

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