Come nightfall this Halloween, many ghosts and ghouls will take to the streets envisioning tricks or treats, but the Ladysmith RCMP is encouraging locals to remain luminous in the dark.
Officers’ message to parents is to ensure that youngsters are wearing plenty of reflective gear when scurrying around town.
“One of the main problems is kids just don’t wear enough reflective gear,” said spokesperson Const. Brigitte Goguen of the Ladysmith RCMP. “I’ve covered a couple of Halloweens, and it can be really difficult to move around with the fog. I would love to see more glow in the dark stickers and flashlights while patrolling those dark streets this year.”
With the latest foggy outburst seemingly here to stay, Goguen warned the weather can “contribute to inadvertent run-ins for pedestrians and drivers.”
“I remember last year at the Brown Drive Park area, which is a darkish neighbourhood, I had to drive 20 km/h just to be safe. There’s a lot of kids, and everybody seems to go there.”
The RCMP is pushing the use and presence of reflective straps, lights, stickers and glow sticks, amongst others. Officers are warning drivers to expect the unexpected and to allow for more time when driving residential streets.
“A witch’s costume is all-black, so you need to be able to quickly respond as a driver,” said Goguen.
Another relevant safety topic during the Halloween buildup annually is fireworks.
Regulations on the sale and discharge of fireworks are underlined by the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD).
The CVRD’s bylaw on its website reads: “Any person or organization may possess and discharge fireworks at a public special event or festival if the person or organization has a fire safety plan and holds a valid Fireworks Discharge Permit for the level appropriate to the nature of the fireworks being possessed and discharged.”
Halloween is classed as a “special event” by CVRD, along with January 1 and July 1.
“Fireworks Discharge Permits will be issued for one day only and must be approved by the CVRD.”
Goguen said in an e-mail, “if you are under 18, fireworks and firecrackers are prohibited at any time or place. If you are over 18, fireworks are also prohibited unless you have a permit and you are setting them off on private property. Discharging fireworks carries a $100 fine.”
RCMP officers will be on “proactive patrol” this Thursday evening making sure all is safe whilst apparently attempting to stay in the Halloween spirit at the same time.
“I’m sure some of us will be handing out candy to the kids from our vehicles,” said Goguen.
Party-goers are also warned to plan their ride home and to not drink and drive.
Parents are advised to check out all treats for any cases of tampering and throw out any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.