APD puts emphasis on safety for Halloween night
Austin police want trick-or-treaters, partiers and every one in between to stay safe this Halloween.
The Austin Police Department plans to enforce a “No-Refusal” initiative for Oct. 31. During ‘No Refusal,’ any driver pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving must submit a breath test or get a court-ordered blood draw.
The initiative begins at 9 p.m. Wednesday and runs through 5 a.m. on Nov. 1. According to APD, about 26 percent of last year’s traffic fatalities were alcohol-related.
Also, since a costume-clad crowd is expected to make their way downtown Wednesday evening, officers also announced they plan to close down Sixth Street from Brazos to Interstate-35. Cross streets between Fifth and Seventh streets will also be closed, with all shut downs beginning at 6 p.m.
Vehicles parked on East Sixth Street and the cross streets of Brazos, San Jacinto, Trinity, Neches, Red River and Sabine will be subject to towing, also beginning at 6 p.m. If you think your vehicle may have been towed, APD advises drivers to call Southside Towing at (512) 441-7094.
According to APD, children under 17 who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian must leave the Sixth Street area by 11 p.m. Wednesday. The department also warns firearms, relics, swords, illegal knives clubs or sharply pointed items will not be allowed downtown. Costumes must also be made of soft material or plastic.
Officers say they also want the younger crowd to take caution Halloween evening.
Here’s some safety tips for trick-or-treaters and their parents, courtesy APD:
• Know your trick-or-treater's route
• Take a flashlight
• Be sure costumes, shoes and treat bags are safe
• Remind children not to enter a stranger's home or car
• Set rules about not eating treats until your children are home and inspect all treats before allowing kids to eat them
• Candy that has been opened should be thrown away; any homemade treats or fruit should be inspected closely
• Remember drivers have a hard time seeing people, especially at dusk
• Never cross the street from between parked cars
• Watch open flames from jack-o-lanterns as they present a fire hazard for costumes and long wigs; Review the "stop, drop and roll" procedure in case your costume catches on
• Only visit well-lit houses; Don't stop at dark houses
• Don't enter any homes unless you know the people
• Carry a spare Halloween bag in case it breaks or your original one is filled
• Make sure fake knives, swords and guns are made from cardboard or other flexible materials to avoid accidental injury or worse, having them mistaken for the real thing
• Don't cut across yards. Use sidewalks and stay out of back yards
• Follow traffic signals and do not jaywalk or cross mid-block