CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) will be on the lookout for impaired drivers this Halloween – in an effort to increase safety on one of the busiest nights of the year for pedestrians.
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, pedestrian deaths in general have risen steadily since 2009; 5,987 pedestrians died in the United States in 2016.
On Wednesday deputies will help with saturation patrols in the Ashland area, where partygoers tend to gather on Halloween. Deputies will also patrol throughout Jackson County, focusing on rural roadways and back roads. Grant funding allows JCSO to increase staffing during holidays and events without taking away from regular patrol duties.
Deputies urge those who choose to drink alcohol to make plans ahead of time to get home safely. Alternatives to driving while impaired include designating a sober driver, calling a friend or family member, or calling a taxi or rideshare.
Impairment aside, all drivers are reminded to be vigilant on Halloween night. Children will likely be out walking in neighborhoods later than usual. Drivers should put away distractions such as cell phones and drive cautiously through neighborhoods frequented by trick-or-treaters.
Pedestrians can also take steps to stay safe. Be visible - wear brightly colored costumes and use light sticks and flashlights. Parents are encouraged to supervise children closely, especially when walking near vehicles.