BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)–Police officers are urging locals to be safe while trick-or-treating this Halloween, they say the number of people getting hit by cars is still pretty high.

“Last year across Louisiana, 185 pedestrians who were killed,” said Louisiana Highway Commission Spokesman Mark Lambert.

That’s 185 too many, and East Baton Rouge Parish was at the top of that unfortunate list for fatal pedestrian crashes.

“Usually, we’d see those kinds of numbers in New Orleans or maybe Jefferson Parish. But they’re just a lot more people walking on the road than there used to be,” he said.

Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) Traffic Homicide Director Lt. James Pittman said there have been approximately 15 deaths this year, trending under last year’s high of 24.

“Most of the time, the pedestrian is the person who is at fault in that crash because they’ve entered the roadway in front of a vehicle without looking,” Pittman said.

He added that this happens more often in highly populated areas.

Pittman warned, “We see the majority of the fatalities on Florida Boulevard, Airline Highway, and around the Tiger Land area. Those areas are not areas where I would say you should be walking or even bicycling.”

Lambert said access to sidewalks can be a challenge in some areas, but other factors also play a role in these crashes.

“A high percentage of them have been drinking and they have some alcohol in their system. We also believe that since the pandemic, there are just a lot more people out walking on the road. There’s also a higher percentage of drivers who aren’t paying close attention to what they’re doing,” he explained. “And so when you put all of these things together, it winds up with a deadly mix of more people getting hit.”

BRPD said drivers and walkers need to put away distractions and focus on the road. They encourage pedestrians to look both ways before crossing the street, and if it’s nighttime, traveling with reflective gear.

“Anything to make yourself more visible while you’re out walking,” said Pittman.

During holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, officials urge locals to be especially careful.

“If you’re hosting a party at your house where adult beverages are being served, you know, please make sure that anyone who’s had too much to drink has a safe ride home,” said Lambert.

If you plan on taking your children to trick-or-treat, leaders encourage you to hold their hands, wear glow sticks and stay on sidewalks so you can have a “spook”tacular Halloween.