Be responsible, be careful, and be safe on the road | In Our Opinion

This was a bad week on Kitsap roads: Two deaths. Three arrests for vehicular assault or DUI. Eight and possibly nine injuries. And each of them preventable.

Two families will spend Christmas and New Year’s mourning the death of their daughters. Another family will spend the holidays hoping their family members recover enough to move out of ICU units.

Take this as a reminder to drive safely. Slow down; you may not get to your destination as quickly as you want, but you’ll get there. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, give yourself enough time to get there. If you’re running late, be late and be alive. Watch for other vehicles and pedestrians. Don’t text or talk on your cell phone while driving.

The weather is going to change soon. Make sure your vehicle is prepared for winter driving, and drive for the conditions.

Kitsap’s miserable road week came as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report showing that excessive speed remains a leading cause of preventable deaths. Nationally and in Washington state, about a third of traffic fatalities are linked to excess vehicle speed. Vehicle speed is the suspected cause of the fatal crash Dec. 16 in South Kitsap. The driver in an injury crash the same day at Highway 305 near Suquamish Way reportedly said he glanced down at his phone shortly before sideswiping a truck and crashing head-on into another vehicle.

If that’s not enough to remind you, then meditate on these.

Dec. 16,  7:46 a.m., in Suquamish: One serious injury, one arrest for vehicular assault, at Highway 305 near Suquamish Way.  Suspected cause of crash: DUI. At the same time, down the street at Suquamish Way and Division Avenue, a fender-bender.

Dec. 16, throughout the day, in Poulsbo: A SUV and a semi collide at Front Street and Sunset Avenue. A non-injury crash was reported at 305 and Viking Avenue. A crash with possible injury was reported on Front Street near the Liberty Bay Auto Center.

Dec. 16, 6:19 p.m., Highway 303 one mile north of Bremerton: A five-car crash with four injuries and one arrest for DUI and vehicular assault. Suspected cause of crash: Failure to stop at a red light.

Dec. 16, 9:39 p.m., in South Kitsap: Rebekah F. Barrett, 18, of South Kitsap, dead. Shanaia R. Bennett, 17, of Gig Harbor, dead. A 17-year-old South Kitsap girl, taken to Tacoma General Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Robert A. Rundquist Jr., arrested and booked into Kitsap County Jail on two counts of vehicular homicide. Suspected cause of fatal crash: Vehicle speed.

Dec. 18, 7:48 a.m., 15 miles south of Port Townsend: A vehicle driver from Hermiston, Ore., and a 13-year-old Poulsbo girl, injured and taken to Jefferson County Hospital. Suspected cause of crash: Driving too fast.

Be responsible. Be careful. And be safe.


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