HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Halloween festivities have begun and experts are urging Connecticut residents to make a safety plan for trick or treating.
“This is a rough time of year,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Spokesman Josh Morgan. “October historically is the worst month for pedestrian fatalities.”
The Department of Transportation’s Halloween message is grim; 42 pedestrians have been killed in Connecticut so far this year.
“These aren’t just stats, they are human lives and it’s why we are really stressing the need for motorists to slow down, pay attention and drive sober,” Morgan said.
CTDOT recently launched a campaign to increase distracted driving enforcement through the end of October.
This campaign will mean increased patrols from state and local police to catch impaired drivers, according to police. However, authorities said they are also monitoring any potential threats during this busy weekend following the tragedy in Lewiston, Maine.
Neighborhoods like Pratt Street in Hartford have Halloween events already planned for Saturday.
“We get tons of kids down from the apartments,” said Vaughan’s Public House bartender Erin Sweeney.
Restaurant and bar owners are also expecting older crowds to take advantage of the busy area for Halloween weekend.
“We’re expecting a great crowd this weekend,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney has been a bartender at Vaughan’s Public House for 16 years and said there is always extra security in the area on Halloween weekend.
“We feel really safe in the downtown area,” Sweeney said. “We have the ambassadors that do a really nice job and Hartford Police always has a presence on this street anytime they are anticipating a crowd.”
The CTDOT also advised families who go trick-or-treating this weekend or on Halloween to bring a flashlight or wear a reflective light to be more visible to drivers when crossing the street.