Keeps the headlights on for safety | Colleen Smidt

This is that odd time of year where the darkness and bad weather can really sneak up on you. Even more so this year as we enjoyed a longer than normal period of time where everything was clear, dry and light.

Commuting as I do back and forth to Poulsbo on weekdays, I must admit this time of year scares me the most. Drivers are out of the habit of turning their lights on. They have forgotten that just because it is light when they leave work, it is now dark before they get home yet their vehicle lights remain off for the entire drive.

Drivers have also forgotten that pedestrians are not as visible during this time of year and pedestrians who are covered up for the wet weather in dark clothing are not remembering that they are not as visible to drivers.

It was with great sadness that I read just this past week about a South Kitsap student being hit by a car on her way to catch her school bus. This type of situation is every parent’s worst nightmare who has school age children who are walking to and from schools and bus stops in the dark and inclement weather. No one ever wants to get the phone call that their child has been hit.

So many accidents and near misses during this time of year could be prevented if people just pay closer attention to the weather and overall conditions. Drivers need to slow down and drive with your lights on more often. Pedestrians and students need to dress so they can be seen.

The city and county needs to make sure they are doing their part with fully maintained crosswalks and working lights where available. I have been working for two years to get the city of Bremerton to improve school zone safety and crosswalks which provides our students with as many safety and preventative measures as possible.

The world is filled with distractions. Make sure you are doing everything you can to reduce your distractions while behind the wheel or while you are walking or crossing in and around traffic. Take a few more seconds to look out for each other.

My thoughts are with that South Kitsap student, her family and the driver involved.

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