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'Vests for Visibility' on loan for safe Halloween

October 27, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

WASHINGTON COUNTY

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Parents shopping for children's Halloween costumes may now consider borrowing a safety vest from the State Highway Administration to use for trick-or-treat, according to a written release.

As part of the State Highway Administration program "Vests for Visibility," orange safety vests will be available to borrow - on a first-come, first-served basis - from the State Highway Administration's Hagerstown maintenance shop at 18320 Col. Henry K. Douglas Drive, on Friday and Monday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., according to the release.

The shop is off Sharpsburg Pike (Md. 65), behind the Motor Vehicle Administration.

Gary Shank, the shop's resident maintenance engineer, said it has 50 to 100 orange vests to loan to parents, who will have to sign for them and return them as soon as possible.

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"Most of them should fit a small kid," Shank said.

"I think it's a really good idea. It provides a little bit more visibility," he said. "Drivers can become more aware ... It's a big safety issue, so we're all for safety."

The "Vests for Visibility" program is one component of Maryland's overall pedestrian safety program, the release states.

"There is no contest between a vehicle and a person; In Maryland nearly 100 pedestrians are killed and another 3,000 are injured each year," according to the release.

The State Highway Administration offers the following tips for pedestrians and trick-or-treaters:

  • Cross the street at intersections and marked crosswalks.

  • Look both ways before crossing the street.

  • Try to wear brighter-colored clothes or wear reflective vests or blinking lights.

  • Avoid costumes that distort vision.

  • Make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street.

  • Watch for cars going faster than the speed limit.



The State Highway Administration offers the following tips for drivers:

  • Stop for pedestrians at intersections and marked crosswalks, which is required by state law.

  • Be extra careful during trick-or-treat hours, which are typically between 4 and 9 p.m.

  • Drive slowly and obey all traffic signs in residential neighborhoods.

  • Make entrances and exits from driveways slowly.

  • Watch for children who might cross between parked cars or dart across the street.
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