Though Halloween is one of the most popular secular holidays in the United States, it can also be one of the most dangerous nights for pedestrians.
As children and their families walk from house to house for trick-or-treating, the excitement often overrides their street smarts as pedestrians. Similarly, drivers can become easily distracted and harm pedestrians unintentionally. To make sure that everyone stays safe, here are reminders of common traffic laws in the State of California:
Right-of-Way at Crosswalks -The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
Vehicles Stopped for Pedestrians - When a vehicle is stopped at a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway, vehicles approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle. Unmarked crosswalks are also known as unprotected intersections. Sometimes people will appear to be jaywalking as they walk across the road, but pay attention. If they are at an intersection that has no crosswalk, no stop signs, or no traffic light, they still have the right of way at an unprotected intersection.
Pedestrians Outside Crosswalk - Every pedestrian upon a roadway, except those traveling within a marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles in the roadway that are near enough to constitute an immediate hazard.
Starting Parked Vehicles or Backing - No person shall start a vehicle that is stopped, standing, or parked on a highway, nor shall any person back a vehicle on a highway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.
Right Turn on Red Light - A driver, after stopping for a steady circular red signal, may turn right. However, the driver shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to traffic using the cross street.
Walk, Wait, or Don’t Walk - (a) A pedestrian facing a "WALK" signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal, but shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that signal is first shown. (b) No pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal while the "DON’T WALK" or "WAIT" symbol is showing.
Crossing Between Controlled Intersections - Pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or police officers, except within a crosswalk.
Parents and Trick-or-Treaters can make things easier on themselves if they follow these safety tips:
A Parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
Remind Trick-or Treaters:
By using a flashlight, they can see and be seen by others.
Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.
Always walk. Never run across a street.
Only cross the street at corners or at established crosswalks.
Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight before crossing a street.
Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble-seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
Only go to homes with a porch light on.
Never cut across yards or use alleys.
Never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat.
Never consume food items or drinks that may be offered.
No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.
The police should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
Many thanks to the Los Angeles Police Department for their helpful information about common traffic laws and Halloween safety tips.
If you are unlucky enough to have an auto accident during Halloween, Robert’s Collision & Repair is here to restore your vehicle with expert auto body repair. To make certain you, your passengers, and the people sharing the road with you stay safe, come in for a safety inspection. Contact us at 831-373-1534, and visit our 26,000 sq. ft. facility at 234 Ramona Avenue, Monterey, CA 93940.