Emphasis on Safety Changing Halloween Traditions

Emphasis on Safety Changing Halloween Traditions

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Jed Boal Reporting Utahns prowl the neighborhoods to haunt on this night of Halloween, but this old tradition is in a transformation. Communities still celebrate Halloween with plenty of fun for kids and adults, but there's a greater emphasis on safety every year.

Talk to people in just about any community and they'll tell you the number of trick-or-treaters drops off each year. Special events and special neighborhoods are top choices for parents concerned about safety.

Halloween is one of our oldest traditions: the costumes, the candy, celebrating frights with friends will never change.

Allison Young says, "I wouldn't miss it for the world. This is just a family tradition."

Susan Young says, "I think it's probably not as safe as it used to be. There are more strangers in neighborhoods, and people move in and out. "

So often it's more of a block party, like a neighborhood bash in South Salt Lake where the kids, parents and cops celebrate together.

Mariana Allers said, "It's close to home, keeps them safe, and we're not going to knock on doors that won't open to us."

Officer Gary Keller, with the South Salt Lake Police Department, said, "It's a fun time for the officers and for the community."

Trena Young and a friend started this tradition more than a dozen years ago. She said, "We have the policemen and the firemen come. They escort them around. It's fun, it really is."

On 9th and 9th in Salt Lake City, businesses launched their own tradition to create a safe place for kids and their parents to celebrate together.

Another growing part of the tradition is more work for state troopers and local police working DUI enforcement.

Trooper Lawrence Hopper said, "What we expect is people to drive safely and make it home safely."

Drunken driving on Halloween is now just as big a problem as it is on New Year's.

Early in the evening safety of the kids was the key; in the later hours, though, it shifts to safety of the adults.

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