State police also checking in on sex offenders

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – Planning to celebrate Halloween?

The Virginia State Police wants you to be safe and take everyone’s safety into account, especially children out in Hampton Roads neighborhoods.

Halloween night, it says, is one of the deadliest of the year due to impaired drivers, with 1,454 crashes, 10 deaths and 652 injuries last Halloween, two of those deaths coming in alcohol-related crashes.

Related: 2022 Trick or Treating & Halloween guide

If planning to party, it wants you to remember the following:

  • Plan a safe way home before the party starts
  • Designate a sober driver and give that person your keys before drinking
  • If impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call Virginia State Police by dialing #77 on your smartphone

State Police also caution parents and guardians to check the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry to find relevant addresses of convicted sex offenders who could be living or working in their neighborhoods.

Its sex offender investigative unit is working with the Virginia Department of Corrections Probation and Parole to check on supervised sex offenders. If a sex offender is on supervision, they may not be allowed to take part in trick-or-treat activities, meaning their porch lights must be turned off and they cannot open the door to trick-or-treaters. The restriction applies only if the offender’s conditions of probation or parole do not allow contact with children.

Anyone out on the roads are asked to slow down and stay alert for children, especially in residential areas and parking lots. State Police say children have a greater chance of being hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Safety Council have the following safety tips:

  • Use flashlights and glowsticks to remain visible
  • Stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Remind children to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street and walking among vehicles in a parking lot.
  • Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
  • Wear clothing that is bright and flame retardant.
  • Fasten reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility
  • Consider using non-toxic face paint instead of masks. (Masks can obstruct a child’s vision.)
  • Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes.
  • Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes (to prevent tripping).
  • Have children get in and out of vehicles on the curb side, not on the traffic side.
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious activity.