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Beware Of Trick-Or-Treating Traffic Dangers, Leonia Police Chief Warns

Sunset is 5:54 p.m. today.
Sunset is 5:54 p.m. today. Photo Credit: Samantha Presto

LEONIA, N.J. -- "Today is the number one day for child pedestrian fatalities. The 'deadliest hour' is 6-7 p.m.," Leonia Police Chief Thomas Rowe said the morning of Halloween on Saturday. "That's why we are asking for trick-or-treating to be completed by sundown."

Sunset is 5:54 p.m., Rowe noted.

In Leonia, crossing guards are assigned from 1 to 7 p.m. to cover the intersections of Broad Avenue/Fort Lee Road, Glenwood Avenue/Fort Lee Road, Grand Avenue/Fort Lee Road and Broad Avenue/ Magnolia Place, the chief said.

Extra patrols will be on duty until 7 p.m., he said.

"If your children will be trick or treating without adult supervision, please instruct them to use the intersections that will be staffed with crossing guards," Rowe said.

"If they need to cross the road where there is no crossing guard stationed, it is important that they do so at an intersection and if possible at an intersection that has a painted crosswalk

"If your child has a cellphone, please make sure it is fully charged before they go out and they know where they are in town in the event the need to call us," he said.

The State Farm Insurance Company teamed up with research expert Bert Sperling to better understand the risks kids face as they take to the streets on Halloween. Sperling analyzed more than four million records in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from 1990-2010 for children 0-18 years of age on October 31.

The detailed analysis found:

115 child pedestrian accidents occurred on Halloween over the 21 years -- an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on Oct. 31, which is more than double the average of 2.6 fatalities for other days.

More than 60% occurred in the 4-hour period from 5-9 p.m.

More than 70% of the accidents occurred away from an intersection or crosswalk.

Most of the fatalities involved children ages 12-15 (32% of all fatalities), followed by children ages 5-8 (23%). 

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