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Employee Spotlight: Linda

Halloween is all about making fun out of the frightening. Ghosts, goblins and ghouls prowl the night, but the real terror can be found on the roads.

The frightening fact is that for motorists and pedestrians, Halloween is consistently one of the most dangerous holidays to be on the street. Pumpkin carving is a Halloween pastime for many! It's a chance to gather up the kids (or friends) and come up with clever, funny or simply adorable carvings for your perfect pumpkin. After all of the guts are removed and your pumpkin masterpiece is ready for viewing, it's time to put it out on the porch, right? Unless you have already been victims of this before... when you pumpkin disappeared in the middle of the night, only to vanish entirely or broken into smithereens in your driveway or the road.

Dozens of mischievous acts can happen with the help of a pumpkin. Add an overpass over an interstate and you have a real-life nightmare. Over the years, law enforcement has seen plenty of incidents involving objects thrown off a highway overpass. Since 1990, at least a dozen cases have taken place in the U.S. and Canada, where victims were either killed or sustained horrific injuries. Police who have responded to the incidents, believe the thrill and challenge of hitting a moving object fuels the object-throwing mischief. 

Horror stories of pumpkins being launched over an overpass and hitting the windshields of innocent motorists below, can be heard near and far from New York State. That's where the Pumpkin Patrol comes in. New York State Police and citizen volunteers are participating in their 38th annual Pumpkin Patrol to ward off Halloween pranks and protect motorists along the Thruway on October 30th and 31st. Patrols consist of Troop T Troopers, as well as local Amateur Radio club volunteers. Volunteers will monitor overpasses and report any unusual activity to law enforcement. Police say 15 organizations from 19 countries have volunteered to participate.

What is even better than the Pumpkin Patrol? One of the members of the Bestpass family is an avid participant! Linda Fritze, a Software Engineer at Bestpass, is also a member of the Albany Amateur Radio Association and she, along with her husband, John, participate in the Pumpkin Patrol to keep motorists safe! You can give Linda a holler if you see something unusual via her call sign at K2QYL and her husband, John at his call sign, K2QY.

From everyone here at Bestpass, we wish you and your family and friends a wonderful and safe Halloween! Check out some tips below to keep you safe:

For Trick-or-Treaters:

Stick together. AAA recommends parents accompany trick-or-treaters until the age of 12. Groups of children are easier to spot!

Cross at the crosswalk. Remind children to never cross the road mid-block or between parked cars. Studies show nearly three-quarters of pedestrian deaths occur at places other than the crosswalk.

Check costumes. Make sure masks don't obstruct your child's vision, adjust the length of costumes to avoid tripping and add reflective materials or tape to make kids visible. 

For Motorists:

Avoid shortcuts. If possible, avoid driving through residential streets where it's likely there will be a lot of trick-or-treaters present.

Be extra alert. Watch for children on dark streets, medians and curbs. Excited trick-or-treaters do not pay attention to traffic and cross the road in unexpected places.

Right side exit. Driving your children around on Halloween? Make sure they enter and exit the car on the passsenger side of the vehicle.

Remember, if you see something, say something! Contact your local police if you see something unusual this Halloween. Be safe, say 'boo' and scary on.


Linda pumpkin patrol edited blog

Linda and John - Pumpkin Patrol