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Avoiding Tragedy on Halloween


Last weekend, my wife and I took our two kids shopping for Halloween costumes. In just over a week, my kids, along with thousands of others, will fill the streets and sidewalks in their hunt for candy. Memories of trick-or-treating can be some of the best for both children and adults. However, not all memories of Halloween are positive.

Every year, a tragic number of trick-or-treaters are hit by cars or trucks. For example, just a few years ago, two teenage girls were struck by a car while trick-or-treating in West Jordan.

Even though adults driving cars and individuals walking in the street are excited about Halloween, there are important safety rules that must be followed in order to avoid a tragic ending to the holiday. The best way to avoid tragedy is to use common sense and caution at all times when driving or walking on or across a road. Below are a couple of rules to keep in mind.

For trick-or-treaters (pedestrians):

  • If there is a sidewalk you should use it; do not walk in the road!Utah Code § 41-6a-1009(1).
  • If there is not a sidewalk, you should be on the shoulder as far away from the road as possible.Utah Code 41-6a-1009(2).
  • You should not run or dart across the street ever, especially when cars are nearby.Utah Code § 41-6a-1002(1)(a).
  • You are required to obey all traffic-control devices specifically applicable to you.Utah Code § 41-6a-1001.
  • If you cross in the middle of a block, you are required to yield the right of way to vehicles operating properly on the street.Utah Code § 41-6a-1003(2); Utah Code § 41-6a-1009(6).
  • You should only cross the street at designated crosswalks and street corners.

For drivers:

  • When pulling and/or backing out of your driveway, you are required to stop your vehicle immediately prior to crossing the sidewalk and check your surroundings.Utah Code § 41-6a-907; Utah Code § 41-6a-1008
  • You are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians in the crosswalk.Utah Code § 41-6a-1002(1)(a)
  • You are required at all times to operate the vehicle with care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian, especially when you observe a child near the road.Utah Code 41-6a-1006(1)(a), (c).

At Cutt, Kendell & Olson, we frequently represent pedestrians injured by motor vehicles.If you or someone you care about are injured by a car while walking, please call us today for a free consultation at (801) 901-3470.

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