Halloween is just around the corner, and as we prepare for this fun holiday, the safety of our kids and families should be at the top of our minds.
First and foremost, let’s address the obvious: driving carefully on Halloween is crucial. By driving at a reduced speed, you give yourself more time to react to unexpected situations and avoid a crash. And while many of us focus on driving cautiously through our neighborhoods on trick or treat night, another important aspect of safety that often goes unnoticed is keeping our sidewalks clear of parked cars!
Parking properly is something that many forget to consider as a safety measure. For example, the City of Pittsburgh’s Halloween 2023 Press Release highlights the importance of safe driving for the holiday – “Motorists are asked to be especially vigilant on Halloween night by not speeding and increase awareness of trick-or-treating children and families,” – and while this is absolutely vital, we also cannot overlook the importance of keeping our cars off the sidewalks.
Clear Sidewalks, Safe Kids
We really need to prioritize keeping sidewalks clear on Halloween, and every day. Parking on the sidewalk may seem convenient, but it’s a dangerous practice that can have serious consequences. If we think about the Halloween example – Children and parents alike will be out and about on trick or treat night. It’s essential to provide a safe and unobstructed path for them to travel. When cars block the sidewalks, families are forced to walk onto the road. This not only puts their safety at risk, but it also creates confusion for drivers who might not expect pedestrians to be in the street.
Parking on the sidewalk creates barriers that can make it challenging for our most vulnerable neighbors to navigate the neighborhood safely. For instance, people who use wheelchairs and strollers are especially inconvenienced and endangered when car obstruct the sidewalks. So, from an accessibility and mobility standpoint, clear sidewalks are notedly essential for our neighborhood safety.
Lead By Example
Pittsburgh loves traditions. Let’s make sure parking on the sidewalk isn’t one of them. Once one neighbor starts parking on the sidewalk, it creates a dangerous pattern for other neighbors to also think its okay. We need to break that cycle and start thinking about each others’ safety! By keeping your sidewalks clear and reminding your neighbors to do so as well, you set a positive example for your community. Others are more likely to follow suit, creating a safer environment for everyone.
So remember: To keep each other safe this Halloween, driving slow is important, but so is parking properly and keeping your car off the sidewalk. As you prepare for Halloween, be considerate of pedestrians, especially the little ones who are excitedly going door-to-door in search of treats. Be a responsible neighbor and ensure your sidewalks are clear of parked cars. By doing so, you’ll help create a safer, more enjoyable Halloween for all.
Don’t forget to check out our Protect Pedestrians landing page to learn more on why this should be a priority not only on Halloween but every day of the year.