JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — This Halloween, it wasn’t tainted candy or stranger danger while trick-or-treating that was most concerning to law enforcement — it was pedestrians getting hit by a car.
On Monday, hordes of Halloween lovers descended on Homewood.
“[Halloween] is definitely back. I think we have a few thousand pieces of candy,” Homewood resident Whitney Strauss joked.
But jokes aside, Strauss took her kids’ safety in the streets on Halloween very seriously.
“We have glow sticks and glow jewelry [to wear while trick-or-treating],” Strauss said.
“Anything you can do to light up your children, especially when it gets darker,” Reilly Strauss, Whitney’s husband said.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also said officers took pedestrian safety on Halloween very seriously. According to the Jefferson County Coroner’s office, as of Monday, 18 pedestrians have died after getting hit by cars this year. Most of these accidents happen along high-speed roadways next to shopping centers where people can walk around.
“This year, it’s kind of opened back up. The flood gates have opened up, and everybody is ready to go trick-or-treating again,” Lt. Joni Money with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.
Every Halloween, Lt. Money pointed out that officers watch out for car accidents involving pedestrians, especially so this year with pre-pandemic numbers of trick-or-treaters.
They stationed more deputies in areas with increased foot traffic, but Money also encouraged parents to still do their part.
“It’s really important that [children] wear brightly colored clothes. If their costume is dark, then put some reflective tape on it, give them a bag for their Halloween candy that’s reflective that has bright colors on it, give them a flashlight, make sure that their costumes don’t obstruct their vision,” Money said.
That’s exactly what Rachel Cash did with her young kids as they were out in Homewood on Monday night.
“We definitely hold hands, and we stay on the sidewalks and especially since our [kids] are so little, we get out here early before it gets super crowded,” Cash said.