BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Trick or treaters will be headed door to door to celebrate Halloween, but with the excitement of the night, kids can forget to pay attention to cars on the road. The Bakersfield Police Department has some tips for parents about how to keep their kids safe.
BPD Detective Marc Lugo says there’s a higher likelihood of accidents involving cars and pedestrians on Halloween Night because of all the distractions.
“Historically, there’s more parties going on, adults are drinking, and unfortunately, they’re making bad decisions,” said Lugo. “They’re driving intoxicated or under the influence of a substance, so when they’re doing that, they’re putting their lives and the lives of other people at risk.”
Halloween celebrations can put kids at risk if they don’t pay attention to their surroundings, but it can also leave adults distracted with their own Halloween festivities.
Lugo says that parents planning to drink on Halloween should have a designated driver, and residents should call in incidents of impaired and distracted driving they encounter so police can respond.
“There’s not just impaired driving. There’s distracted driving when it comes to cell phones, and people are looking at the decorations, looking at the houses, and I would absolutely recommend that people are just more aware of the drivers that might be distracted or impaired, and watch out for their little ones on this night,” said Lugo.
BPD says drivers should slow down and watch out for those who are out and about, and trick or treaters should carry flashlights or glow sticks so they are more visible to the traffic around them. Reflective tape added to costumes is another option.
“We usually have a saying, it’s just keeping your head on a swivel,” said Lugo. “Just making sure that the parents, the adults who are watching over the children, doesn’t matter really how old they are, always ensuring that they’re looking both ways, they’re looking around for vehicles that are not paying attention.”
BPD says they will have additional officers on patrol tonight to help keep trick or treaters safe.
Another common Halloween activity, for better or worse, is vandalism. Soaping people’s windows, covering their yards in toilet paper, smashing pumpkins and egging houses are all illegal tricks.
BPD recommends that neighbors stay in contact with each other over the course of the evening to keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Keeping the lights on may also serve to deter would-be Halloween tricksters.
“I would say most people that are wanting to do the trick on the houses, whatever it may be, they generally do not like lighting, so if you just keep your lights up on your house, that definitely does minimize the risk of anything happening,” said Lugo.
Halloween pranks that amount to vandalism could earn the pranksters a criminal mischief charge, which is a misdemeanor. If the prank causes enough damage to someone’s property, the prankster can be hit with a civil charge, meaning they could be arrested and fined.
Detective Lugo says Bakersfield residents can call BPD at 327-7111 if they see anything suspicious or dangerous happening in their neighborhood.