ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Halloween is one of the deadliest nights on Georgia roads. Law enforcement across southwest Georgia will have an increased presence on neighborhood streets and highways in an effort to keep everyone safe.
In Lee County, they're gearing up for their Pumpkin Patrol. The Lee County Sheriff's Office has been in the schools all week, talking with kids about how to have a safe Halloween.
They've handed out trick or threat bags, talked to kids about wearing reflective materials and carrying a flashlight, and now they say its up to drivers to slow down.
It's obvious from the painted faces in Miss Norris' kindergarten class, Halloween is just days away.
"What do you get when you go trick or treating?" questioned Captain Keith Houston. "Candy," responded the class.
While wearing costumes and trick or treating can be fun, the Sheriff's Office wants kids to understand the dangers that can come with it. "You never ever take candy or anything from a stranger," said Houston.
The Sheriff's office knows there will be golf carts and four wheelers and people walking the streets this weekend which is why they're reminding people now to have patience and slow down.
"If it's 35 try to go about 20 or 25 miles per hour down through there or slower," said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.
Trick or treaters can be unpredictable. "You never know when that kid may get loose from a parent at that moment and jolt out in front of them," said Rachals.
While students were reminded to walk on their routes, the Sheriff's office wants everyone to know tricks won't be tolerated.
"We're not going to tolerate it definitely from damaging people's pumpkins or decorations," said Rachals.
Which is why Sheriff's deputies not just in Lee County, but law enforcement from Albany to Moultrie will be watching to make sure no ones Halloween turned into a nightmare.
Sheriff Reggie Rachals encourages parents to be out trick or treating with their children and to check their candy when they get home before the kids get a treat. If they notice anything suspicious with the candy they should report it to the Sheriff's office.
Nationwide, 58% of all highway fatalities on Halloween involved drunk drivers. Law enforcement from the Lee County Sheriff's Office to the Georgia State Patrol will also be watching for drunk drivers. They encourage you to designate a driver or call someone if you're not fit to drive home.