Campaign focuses on keeping kids, teens safe on Halloween

HalloweenYouth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety is joining with the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Highway Safety Office to encourage youth and teens to make good choices and celebrate responsibly as part of the Halloween Safety Campaign.

The campaign’s focus is to prevent a tragedy on what is supposed to be a fun night for youth.

This week, schools and youth groups across the Commonwealth are participating in the peer-to peer campaign by organizing programs and activities to promote safe and responsible celebrations on Halloween night. All participating schools will receive a Halloween safety banner, pledge cards, activity ideas and suggested announcements to promote a safe Halloween.

The campaign also provides an opportunity for high school students to talk with students at their local preschool, elementary and middle schools about trick or treat safety. Schools working with younger students will receive Halloween safety activity books, candy bags, a Halloween safety PowerPoint presentation and a list of ideas to promote trick or treat safety.

YOVASO staff say irresponsible driving behaviors such as underage drinking and driving as well as texting and driving can be even more deadly on Halloween night when young children are out trick-or-treating on neighborhood streets. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 168 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1).* Approximately 44 percent of all fatalities on Halloween night were crashes involving a drunk driver.*

“With irresponsible celebrating comes unsafe driving behaviors and poor decisions, making Halloween night a dangerous time to be on the roads for both drivers and pedestrians,” said Casey Taylor, YOVASO Program Development Coordinator. “This campaign is designed to keep all youth and teens safe as well as younger children who will be trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

Safety Tips for Teens to Follow on Halloween Night

  • Avoid driving during “Halloween Rush Hour” from 5:30-9 p.m. when children are trick–or-treating
  • Drive below the speed limit in residential neighborhoods and use alternate routes when possible
  • Scan ahead for trick-or-treaters and yield to pedestrians
  • Use caution around stopped vehicles in neighborhoods and proceed slowly.
  • Drive distraction-free
  • Celebrate responsibly and resist any peer pressure to celebrate Halloween with alcohol and/or drugs or to drive while impaired—it’s illegal
  • Do not ride with any drivers who may have used alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Be on the alert for drivers who could be under the influence of something other than sweets
  • Remember to always buckle up

Safety Tips for Youth to Follow for on Halloween Night

  • Avoid distractions and leave electronic devices at home while walking or biking
  • Wear reflective clothing
  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick
  • Walk on sidewalks when possible
  • Only trick-or-treat in well-lit neighborhoods
  • Older students should always travel in pairs or large groups and let parents know where you are going
  • Younger students should always trick or treat with a parent or adult supervision
  • Never approach a stranger’s car
  • Stay alert and Be Seen on Halloween in case motorists are not be watching out for you

To learn more or to register for the Halloween Safety Campaign, call Casey Taylor at 540-375-3596. Information about the campaign is also posted on the website at

YOVASO is Virginia’s peer‐to‐peer education and prevention program for teen driver and passenger safety. Through YOVASO, teens work to advocate for safer driving among their peers and to develop positive prevention strategies for their schools and communities. The program, which currently has 106 active member schools across Virginia, is administered by the Virginia State Police and funded through a grant from the Virginia DMV Highway Safety Office. YOVASO also receives support from State Farm.


UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell

Buy here.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news
augusta free press news