News

2016

DHSMV Reminds Motorists That Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving This Halloween

~FHP provides safety tips for parents and trick-or-treaters~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reminds motorists to use extra caution on the road this Halloween night, as communities see an increase in pedestrians along Florida roadways during the evening hours. Motorists should always use caution when behind the wheel and never drive impaired as buzzed driving is drunk driving.

“Halloween is an exciting time for many, but with increased pedestrians out on the streets, motorists should be extra cautious on the roadways,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Whether you are driving, walking or biking this Halloween, be sure to use care and precautions to keep yourself and those around you safe.”

In addition to watching for pedestrians, motorists should never drive drunk. In 2015, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) worked 1,161 of the 4,273 total crashes during the Halloween holiday. There were 57 crashes that involved a DUI, a 111 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.

“Always designate a sober driver and plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night if you celebrate Halloween with alcohol,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the FHP. “Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.”

The DHSMV strongly encourages parents and motorists to take extra care in safeguarding children. Low visibility and heavy pedestrian traffic can make navigating Halloween roadways tricky. Follow these safety tips to make this holiday a treat:

Motorists:

  • Pay attention and reduce distractions; turn off the radio and put down the phone.
  • Slow down and use caution. Costumes may impair a child’s ability to see and hear approaching cars, preventing them from getting out of the roadway quickly.
  • Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks.
  • Enter and exit driveways slowly and always check behind your vehicle before backing.
  • Keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters who may suddenly dart into traffic from between parked cars.

Parents and Trick-or-Treaters:

  • Be seen! Carry a flashlight, wear bright clothing and put reflective tape on costumes and goody bags.
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible. If sidewalks are not available, walk facing traffic as close to the curb as possible.
  • Remind children to never run out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear headphones or text while walking.
  • Children under the age of 12 should not trick-or-treat unsupervised. Walk with your trick-or-treaters and hold the hands of young children. Review pedestrian safety with teens if they trick-or-treat without supervision.

For more Halloween safety tips, visit DHSMV’s website.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook. For safe driving tips and techniques, download the official Florida Driver License Handbook.