Steering Clear of Evil on Halloween

Halloween can be a time of fun for many, but concerns about safety often arise on a night with increased activity in the streets.

Salt Lake City Police Department spokesperson Lara Jones said students should not single out Halloween as a particularly unsafe day.

“We can’t say empirically that crime is higher on Halloween than any other day,” Jones said. “But we can say that it’s a holiday, and people are more likely to overindulge.”

Jones said other holidays often elicit more danger than Halloween.

“The holiday that [we] have the most concern [about] is actually the Fourth of July,” Jones said.

Traffic hazards, however, typically increase during Halloween time.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports DUI fatalities increasing by 37 percent on Halloween when it falls on a weekend — like it does this year.

Sgt. Garth Smith with U Police said suspicious persons often are hard to spot on Halloween.

“If anything does happen, be a good witness,” Smith said. “The descriptions [of suspects] are very unique when it comes to Halloween.”

Smith said the U’s Police Department treats Halloween like any other day — no additional staffing is taken on. Jones said the same is true for SLCPD.

Three tips for staying safe on Halloween:

1. Designate a driver, or have money set aside for a cab. From 3 p.m. on Oct. 30 until 3 a.m. Nov. 1, cab rides in the Salt Lake metro area will be reimbursed up to $35 if you’re 21 or older.

Local cab numbers include:

City Cab: 801.363.5550

Taxi SLC Utah: 801.253.2500

Ute Cab: 801.359.7788

Yellow Cab Utah: 801.521.2100

Those who would like to be reimbursed must send a cab fare receipt and a photocopy of their driver’s license to Robert J. DeBry & Associates at 4252 South 700 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84107.

2. Stay in groups. If you are drinking, have a sober person in the group keep an eye on your drink, and don’t accept drinks from unfamiliar people.

3. Charge your phone before a party. Or have a friend charge their phone, and stay near them. It is important to have access to a phone in case of emergencies.

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