Halloween Marks the Peak of Pedestrian Shaming Season

Image: @Klearphotograph/Twitter

Walking is a right. Driving a two-ton machine capable of speeds over 100 mph is a privilege. But sometimes transportation agencies seem to think it’s the other way around. And there’s no time of year when this is more evident than Halloween.

Pedestrian shaming” tends to peak in the fall. It starts some time around Walk to School Day, picks up steam as the daylight hours wane, and reliably hits its climax each year on October 31, the most deadly day of the year for young pedestrians. Halloween can teach us volumes about our neighborhoods, but it can also teach us a thing or two about our collective approach to protecting trick-or-treaters.

We couldn’t help but notice how some departments of transportation have focused their Halloween safety messaging at pedestrians, and not at those with the ability to cause harm. For example, in both Florida and Georgia, it’s up to pedestrians to make sure they can be seen by drivers:

In Pennsylvania, drivers apparently have nothing to do with pedestrians being struck:

The Federal Highway Administration offers no advice for drivers, but they do have some some costume ideas:

So does the Canadian Automobile Association:

The North Carolina Department of Transportation stops short of recommending kids dress up as objects that drivers are used to avoiding…

…but the New York State Department of Transportation literally thinks you should dress your kid up as a piece of traffic safety equipment:

There are exceptions of course. The Texas and Illinois DOTs are reminding drivers to slow down and pay attention — good advice any day, really — and The Missouri Department of Transportation’s only Halloween-themed tweet reminds drivers to be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters (though we don’t think you’ll find many on a rural highway like the one pictured):

And instead of telling kids to watch out for cars, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises drivers to slow down and watch out for kids.

Have a safe, happy Halloween, and be careful tonight (and every night) regardless of what mode you choose.

1 Comment on "Halloween Marks the Peak of Pedestrian Shaming Season"

  1. Great piece. Given the level of carnage, governors should declare Halloween a ‘state of emergency’ and mandate speed limits of 25mph and lower on ALL streets.

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