Tomorrow is the big day for Trick or Treating! So it’s time to roll out some classic Halloween safety videos. Come for the scratchy 8mm recording quality, and stay for the plastic masks that tear into the fleshy parts of your cheeks. Much more satisfying than dropping a $9.99 monthly subscription on media behemoths cashing in on dated intellectual property.
This year’s holiday has been accompanied by an uptick of reports about rainbow fentanyl and cannabis candies sneaking into the kids’ bags. Parent and neighborhood groups have been swapping these “be on the lookout” posts since a blurb from the DEA in the summer was breathlessly parroted by an unquestioning media. Research has found the number of actual injuries attributable to strangers handing out tainted candy on Halloween is vanishingly small.
Of course, cars are the biggest cause of injuries on Halloween. The number of kids on the street and adults considering this a drinking holiday add up to a 43% increase in pedestrian injuries over other autumn nights. Which brings us back to the video. It puts the burden firmly on the trick-or-treaters to be visible for cars, and fails to mention important things like “let’s improve sidewalks” or “slow your gas guzzler”. Nostalgia.
Have a safe time, everyone. Dibs on the Whoppers.
Ray Dubicki is a stay-at-home dad and parent-on-call for taking care of general school and neighborhood tasks around Ballard. This lets him see how urbanism works (or doesn’t) during the hours most people are locked in their office. He is an attorney and urbanist by training, with soup-to-nuts planning experience from code enforcement to university development to writing zoning ordinances. He enjoys using PowerPoint, but only because it’s no longer a weekly obligation.