Halloween on hold, time change maybe cancelled

Halloween on hold, time change may be cancelled

Courtesy: The Weather Network

Today is an unusual day, at least in the east. The City of Montreal and other communities in Quebec have put Halloween on hold. In the west, British Columbia legislators are debating cancellation of the semi-annual time change.

Please double-down on Halloween road safety

Kids (and parents) may complain about Halloween on hold. It’s all due to the lousy weather forecast.

I invite Montrealers to have Halloween on Friday because of the rain and strong winds announced tomorrow– Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said on Twitter on Wednesday.

That has provoked horror and confusion among kids and parents. And some howls (of laughter?) for communities in the north which may get up to 30 cm of snow instead of rain. We get the mayors put Halloween on hold in the interest of public safety.

Whenever you decide this year’s Halloween should be, we worry that makes two dark, rainy or snowy nights in a row where young ghouls and goblins may be out on the street. So we are asking drivers to please double down on your Halloween road safety plan, just in case.

Don’t change your clock (maybe)

Time change is this weekend; for some its time to 'fall back' one hourMeanwhile, this weekend in most of Canada, clocks are supposed to fall back to daylight savings time. Except Saskatchewan.  Since 1912 the prairie province has always officially or unofficially been on Central Time, even though geographically located on Mountain Time. That means for six months of the year, Saskatchewan is on the same time as Manitoba, the other half of the year with Alberta.

Now today, British Columbia has tabled a bill to make the semi-annual time change obsolete in that province. Apparently its to align time zones with trading partners (the US). The public survey showed 93% of people agree to stick with year-round DST.

But note to BC folks: you will still have to figure out how to reset your clocks one more time this weekend. If the bill passes, it won’t come into force until 2020 at the earliest. Only then will there be no more falling back and springing forward.

Confused?

No doubt both of these events are confusing people. When should I take the kids out trick-or-treating? What time is it anyway?

Time to call and book your winter tire changeAll we can say, is we are now at the witching hour: days are shorter, darker, rainy and soon, (sorry to remind you) snowy. Maybe its time to make that call to book your winter tire change…

Wishing you a Happy Halloween, today, or tomorrow. Enjoy that extra hour of sleep (except in Saskatchewan). And we can’t say it often enough: BE ALERT. And that goes for everyone who is on the road: pedestrians, scooters, e-bikes, regular bikes, personal mobility devices, and all manner of motor vehicles as winter nears.

Be Alert and be visible every night

As the time changes and winter nears, we want to urge everyone to think about how you can improve your visibility every night. Prevention is the way to avoid the nightmare of a collision because someone could not be seen. That is why we created our own child-friendly stickers, patches, and Be Alert products.

For auto insurance companies, mechanics and tire specialists who share our concern for pedestrian and road safety, get in touch so we can create your own custom reflective program for Halloween, Winter Tire Season, Back to School, or any time of year. Our Be Alert program aims to encourage awareness and active attention to road safety, especially for the most vulnerable road users: children, pedestrians and cyclists.

A glowing review for a safer Halloween

Nissan Glow Guards Halloween road safety

Watch: Glow Guards Halloween pedestrian safety campaign, courtesy Nissan Canada Inc.

Dark and scary Halloween costumes can sacrifice safety in order to be spooky. Are your kids (and you) excited for trick-or-treating? Have you figured out the costumes yet? We can’t wait for Halloween too, but we also know a dark October night can be super scary for pedestrian road safety.

In pursuit of treats, kids race from house to house and forget to look before they cross a street. Parents and watchful caregivers are pretty good at keeping them safe, but the novelty of dress-up and lure of chasing candy can make it hard to control their charges.

Get your Halloween Glow Guards from Nissan Canada

That is why we give Nissan Canada Inc. a glowing review for leadership on Halloween road safety. They just launched a Glow Guards” Halloween safety marketing campaign. They are giving away free reflective stickers to affix to children’s costumes.

Apply Glow Guards reflective tape to improve visibility on Halloween costumes

Courtesy Nissan Canada

You can pick them up at any one of more than 200 independent Nissan dealerships across Canada.

Visibility is something we know can help prevent terrifying collisions with the most vulnerable on our roads. We couldn’t agree more with the motivation and the message behind the new Nissan Canada campaign.

Be ready for the witching hour

Dressing up in costumes and decorating your house with pumpkins and all kinds of ghoulish kitsch is a favourite fall event to look forward to for most Canadians. Some people even like to play tricks on the trick-or-treaters and give them a fright as they approach the door.

But the scariest thing about Halloween might be statistics on road safety.

Nissan looked into a Canadian led study published by JAMA Pediatrics, and found some frightful data about the increased pedestrian risks on Halloween, especially for younger children. They found a 43 per cent spike of incidents on Halloween due to higher foot traffic on streets, and decreased visibility conditions.

The wicked ‘witching hours’ begin around 6:00 pm as children head out.

This may be one day you ask your boss for the afternoon off, leave early or work from home to avoid the evening rush. If you are the boss, may we suggest you make that the Halloween treat for your employees. And drivers, if you are out after dark on Halloween, please SLOW DOWN, and be extra watchful for ghosts, and young pedestrians.

Go out on Halloween to see and be seen

It’s all in good fun, so get dressed up and go out in your neighbourhood on Halloween. But we join Nissan Canada in urging everyone out on October 31st to Be Alert.

Be sure to make or choose children’s costumes so they can see, and be seen. Carry a flashlight, use reflective tape or LED lights on costumes. Find a way to add some reflective elements to help motorists see them better.

Make this a Happy Halloween!

Be Alert and be visible every night

After all the dress-up, parties and stomach aches are over, we want to urge everyone to think about how you can improve your visibility every night. Prevention is the way to avoid the nightmare of a collision because someone could not be seen. That is why we created our own child-friendly stickers, patches, and Be Alert products.

For dentists, delivery companies and other corporate leaders who share our concern for pedestrian and road safety, get in touch so we can create your own custom reflective program for Halloween, Back to School, or any time of year. Our Be Alert program aims to encourage awareness and active attention to road safety, especially for the most vulnerable road users: children, pedestrians and cyclists.

Today is Walk to School Day

Today is International Walk To School Day. Despite the name, this one-day event is held in the United States. Taking part are hundreds of thousands of students, parents and school officials. We’re glad that safety for pedestrian and cyclist participants is at its core. We are impressed the program is national in scope with, ahem, legs.

Walk to School Day Rallying communities to get out of their cars and onto their feet, Walk & Bike to School Day in America began in 1997. The organizers based in Chapel Hill, NC, National Center for Safe Routes to School say over 4,000 schools registered events this year.

Community safety is the goal

Help for schools and local communities to organize events to promote walking and biking safety is something the national organization should be applauded for. Beginning with the trip to school, the NCSRS goal is to encourage the entire community to join in. Walk & Bike to School Day is meant to be a starting point to connect with broader health and community safety goals.

Walk to School Day inspires schools and entire communities to celebrate safety, health and active transportation. Participation increases every year, which is quite an impressive legacy of people coming together with the common goal of starting children on the right foot so they can thrive for years to come. — Nancy Pullen-Seufert, Director of the National Center for Safe Routes to School

Walk & Bike to School Day follows the 8th annual National Bike to School Day in May. Registering more than 3,400  events set a record.

Healthy evidence encourages action

We think the use of research-based evidence is key.

Since 2006, the National Center for Safe Routes to School has been part of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Safety Research Center. Translating research into tools is a how the National Center gets all types of municipalities, transportation planners, schools and community groups involved. They use the tools for education, technical support and training.

CDC strategic directions on health, prevention and security

In addition to transportation safety, the health connection to physical activity is part of the goals of Walk to School Day. Cardiovascular health, muscular fitness and bone health are all improved with regular physical activity.

Using data, the CDC identifies what works to improve pedestrian and cycling safety and to increase participation. That helps them make the case for individuals and for communities. the CDC’s research is effective when it actually becomes built infrastructure. When more people choose active transportation more often on foot or by bike, the evidence has turned into action.

Setting goals and measuring results

According the the US Centers for Disease Control, the key elements of SRTS (Safe Routes to School) include:

  • City planning and engineering – creating safe conditions for walking and biking in a built environment
  • Tools, guides and resources – to encourage participation in safe active transport
  • Education – for students, parents and community about road rules and traffic safety
  • Enforcement – to encourage safety and reduce unsafe behaviour of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians
  • Evaluation – to monitor and measure the program impacts

Over a three-year period, the CDC measured the impact of the national SRTS program and found:
15% of students walked to and from school, which is double 7-8% participation three years earlier
2% of students biked to and from school, up from 1%

Hmm, those participation numbers are not that impressive. There’s a long, ahem, walk ahead. By another measure, though, the program is a resounding success.

Safer means savings

In an analysis of SRTS in New York City, the CDC found that road modifications, new traffic and pedestrian signals reduced childhood and overall injury rates. They put a net societal benefit of US$230 million over the 50-year useful life of the modifications. We noted some of the success in an earlier blog post on New York.

What is more, the CDC compared how much the US Federal Government allocated to the Transportation Alternatives Program in 2017 (US$835 million). That money goes to local governments to build bicycle and pedestrian improvements. Costing seven times more, were the medical bills to treat pedestrian and cyclist injuries.

Prevention costs less, safety programs can work. Participating in Walk to School Day is open to anyone, and is monitored for success. We can all learn from it. Just put one foot in front of the other.

Our own Be Alert program

To raise awareness, improve visibility and to reduce the risk for vulnerable road users, Trimtag Trading Inc. created our own Be Alert! road safety products. Our high-visibility and reflective woven decals and stickers are easy to apply to bike helmets, backpacks, and clothing and vehicle windows, even eco-friendly drive thru containers. Our program aims to encourage awareness and active attention to road safety, especially for the most vulnerable road users: children, pedestrians and cyclists. See our Be Alert products here, or contact us about a custom program for your own safety program.