Trick-or-treaters’ safety

The trick-or-treater struck and killed by a car on a dark street sounds like a great ghost story, unless it happens to your family.

Motoring slowly down Southbound Drive in DeForest after 6 p.m. Oct. 31, I was disappointed in what I saw — or more correctly, what I barely saw. We were anticipating trick-or-treaters going door to door, but none appeared to have any reflective devices or flashlights on their clothing or costumes. Worse, neither did the adults with the children. That gloomy evening we were treated to silhouettes bobbing along the sidewalks and curbs.

Fortunately, we had no accidents or even close calls that night. But a moment’s inattention, either by motorists or trick-or-treaters, could have had disastrous results. How difficult is it to put reflective tape or reflective belts on children who will trick or treat after dark? A flashlight or even glow-sticks would improve their visibility. And it’s unfathomable to me that none of the adults I saw had any flashlights or reflective devices.

Certainly I did not observe all parents or all trick-or-treaters in DeForest that night. But still, that was several blocks observing adults and children expertly impersonating shadows. I would ask parents and guardians to make it easier for motorists — and safer for their young trick-or-treaters — next year by taking simple steps to be more visible in the dark.

Perhaps one solution is for a local civic organization to prepare Halloween safety kits that can be made available to families during October — reflective tape, reflective belts, small flashlights, even flashing toy jewelry. I’d gladly buy a bratwurst or two from the fundraiser for that effort.

Vaughn Larson, Sun Prairie

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