AA Issues Hallowe’en Safety Warning To Motorists And Homeowners

Ahead of Hallowe’en, AA Ireland is urging motorists to be safety conscious this year and do their part to keep our roads safe on Wednesday night.

The AA is warning that the changing of the clocks at the weekend, the start of the winter season, and the presence of children trick-or-treating in estates and cul-de-sacs present a number of risks during an increasingly dangerous season on Irish roads. The motoring organisation is urging drivers who find themselves travelling on Wednesday evening to reduce their speed, particularly when driving through built up areas, and to be on the lookout for children who could step onto the street without looking and animals who could be startled by fireworks.

“The changing of the clocks means we all find ourselves spending more time driving in darker conditions, particularly during our post-work commute where fatigue also tends to be more of an issue. This presents a number of dangers in its own right, but when you combine that with the increased number of pedestrians and potentially startled animals on Hallowe’en night there is a real risk of an increased number of incidents on our roads,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs warned. “Motorists can do their part by slowing down and remaining vigilant, particularly when driving in and out of estates, but we would also ask parents to keep an eye on their children while trick-or-treating and encourage pet owners to keep their animals inside where possible to avoid them becoming startled by fireworks and darting in front of traffic.”

AA Ireland is also encouraging home-owners to make safety a priority and to ensure that any candles, jack-o-lanterns or open flames are kept away from flammable items in their home. Meanwhile, those with pets are being advised to keep them in a quiet, safe part of the house for the evening to minimise the risk of the animal becoming startled.

“It may sound like common sense, but every year our home insurance team come across cases of properties being damaged during Hallowe’en as a result of candles or flames being knocked over or setting fire to a nearby item,” Faughnan added.

“Between excited children running around or nervous dogs, it’s easy for things like candles to be knocked over and grow quite quickly from a small flame into something which can cause serious damage to your home. By all means you can get into the spirit of things and decorate your home, we would just encourage people to be safety conscious when doing so.”

The AA’s top tricks to ensure this Halloween is a treat:

  1. Motorists need to reduce speed and drive with extreme caution particularly in areas where children are likely to be present
  2. Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult
  3. Parents should choose costumes wisely – that are flame resistant, bright, reflective and doesn’t obstruct vision that they can see where they’re going
  4. Make necessary alterations to costumes to prevent the risk of tripping
  5. Try and keep your pet inside the quietest part of your house and away from candles. A frightened St. Bernard could wreak havoc inside your house! It’s hard to believe, but some people actually get a thrill out of tormenting or harassing pets on Halloween.
  6. Before engaging in Halloween festivities, parents should have a talk with children about the rules of the road, remembering to: only cross at corners of the road and not between parked cars, obey traffic lights as well as stop, look and listen before proceeding to cross the road
  7. Give children a torch or a glow light to ensure maximum visibility
  8. Parents will need to be extra diligent as small children will be caught up in the excitement of the festivities.

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