Interactive sex offender map available as a tool for Halloween safety

Multiple law enforcement agencies are offering safety tips to motorists, parents and trick-or-treaters this Halloween.

The Scotts Valley Police Department says to make this Halloween a safe and enjoyable one, remember these tips:

1. Trick or treat when it is still light outside.

2. If you must go out in the dark, make certain your costume is light in color. Put fluorescent or reflective tape on your costume so that you can be seen by motorists. Carry and use a flashlight.

3. Wear a costume that is easy to walk in and see out of. A face mask will keep you from seeing well. Take off the mask before crossing the street. Consider using make-up instead of a mask.

4. Trick-or-Treat with an older brother or sister, or parent. If someone older can’t go with you, go with a group of children.

5. Trick-or-Treat only in your own neighborhood or one that is known to you. Plan your route ahead of time and pick streets which are well-lighted. Tell your family the route you will take.

6. Cross streets only at corners and always look before crossing. Never cross the street from behind parked cars and walk facing traffic!

7. A reasonable curfew should be observed for older children. Scotts Valley’s city ordinance: "curfew hours" mean the hours between eleven p.m. and five a.m. for minors under the age of eighteen years.

8. Wait until you get home to sort, check and eat your treats. Do not eat candy or other treats that are not wrapped in their standard wrappers, unless you are certain of their source. Have your parents inspect all candy prior to eating, especially unwrapped or loosely wrapped candy. Fruit and homemade baked goods should also be inspected carefully and cut into small pieces or not eaten if there is any question. If there is reason to suspect candy tampering, contact your local law enforcement office.

Motorist tips:
1. Drive extra carefully on Halloween. The speed limit in residential areas is 25 m.p.h. and it will be strictly enforced.

2. Drive defensively. Due to many private Halloween parties, there will undoubtedly be more drunk drivers on the road.

There is also a resource for parents to check whether a sex offender lives in the neighborhood they will be in. The interactive map allows anyone to see how many sex offenders are registered within a certain radius.

According to the map, there are 205 offenders within a 10 mile radius of Salinas, 67 within 10 miles of Monterey, and 115 within 10 miles of Santa Cruz.

To check how your neighborhood measures up, click here.

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