Society

Parents Fight To Make Halloween Streets Safer For Kids (Photo)

| by Sheena Vasani

While many excitedly prepare for Halloween, one family can only grieve.

"She was trick-or-treating with her two best friends," Chris Hillman, 14-year-old Victoria's father, told KSTU. "They were on a crosswalk, and a van came through and plowed through her."

Within a few minutes, Victoria was dead.

To make things worse, the driver was let off with only a traffic ticket.

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"There's still a bit of anger there," Hillman said, adding he believes the driver got off so easily because he is related to a local police officer.

Still, the Hillman family refused to wallow in their misery or the injustice of the situation. Instead, they took action.

"We helped start an online petition to get crosswalk lights installed," Hillman explained.

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Thanks to their efforts, even though their own child died, other parents in Taylorsville, Utah, may not have to endure such pain.

"It's what Victoria would have wanted," her father said.

While the family succeeded in having lights installed on the crosswalk, they are still fighting even harder to protect others.

"One of the things that we hoped for was for the school districts to turn on their 20 mile-per-hour lights [on Halloween], so that everyone would be aware that kids are running around and it's dark," Hillman said of the idea that has still not yet been implemented.

Victoria is just one of many children who have been hit by a car on Halloween, Safe Kids Worldwide reports.

The organization explains kids are more than twice as likely to be killed by a vehicle on Halloween than any other day of the year.

The website offers parents a number of tips to keep children safe while trick-or-treating, ranging from wearing certain costumes to holding flashlights or glow sticks while they're out.

"Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors," reads one of the suggestions.

Because masks can obstruct a child’s view, the site suggests nontoxic face paint or makeup as an alternative.

It also advises drivers to be extra careful between 5:30 and 9:30 pm.

Sources: KSTU, Safe Kids Worldwide / Photo credit: David R Tribble/Wikimedia Commons, KSTU

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