Emergency officials have a message for trick-or-treaters: “Be safe, be seen.”
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is proclaiming Monday “Halloween Pedestrian Safety Day,” and on Friday, officials reminded everyone to stay safe while out on the streets.
A group of students from Princess Victoria Kaiulani Elementary School met with city officials and they were reminded to obey traffic laws — no jaywalking! — and were given tips to stay safe this Halloween.
Just two years ago, Hawaii was ranked 15th in the nation in pedestrian fatalities. It’s a statistic that’s driving partly city officials to protect keiki.
There have been 17 pedestrian fatalities on Oahu so far this year. HPD Sgt. Michael Campbell said “naturally, the Honolulu Police Department doesn’t want to make notifications of fatalities or criticals, but we want to drive the message home.”
With trick-or-treaters expected to flood neighborhood streets, Lance Rae of Walk Wise Hawaii is urging drivers and pedestrians to be especially alert.
“Halloween is the most significant pedestrian activity for young children,” he said. “It’ll be the first time for a 5-, 6-, 8-year-old to be walking outside for the first time without a parent. They’re with their older siblings.”
Rae wants parents to map out a street plan for their children and limit the amount of times they’re crossing the street. Neighborhoods often don’t have marked crosswalks, so children should be shown intersections they can safely cross, where drivers can better see them.
“We need to weave that into the texture of prepping for Halloween, to reinvest the way we walk. Every holiday is a good time to talk about being good pedestrians.”
And what about costumes? While the Kaiulani Elementary School students looked festive in their skeleton and spider costumes, police want kids — and adults — to reconsider wearing darker colors.
“People dress up in dark clothing and are not as visible as they should be,” Rae said. “We recommend wearing reflective clothing. It’s kind of humbug, you know, when you have a nice costume, but at same time, we want to make sure you’re safe. You’re being seen and drivers actually slow down.”
We also asked about the recent trend of “mask-wearing” robbers. “It’s scary and unacceptable,” said Campbell “This is Halloween. You’re supposed to have fun and be safe. Just maybe not wear a clown costume this year.”
Walk Wise Hawaii is giving out free reflective lights for trick-or-treaters to wear with their costumes and they’ll be available at various locations around the state this weekend:
- Kamehameha Shopping Center, 1620 N. School St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
- Royal Hawaiian Center, 2201 Kalakaua Ave., from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
- Kukui Grove Center, 3-2600 Kaumualii Highway, Lihue, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday
- Keiki Halloween Costume Parade, Lahaina, starting at 4:30 p.m. Monday