County puts new emphasis on traffic safety

Next time you’re driving behind a Kitsap Transit bus you may notice a message urging road safety.

On Tuesday, the Bremerton-Kitsap County Safety Task Force joined forces with several other organizations to unveil their summer safety campaign. A total of 21 Kitsap Transit buses will each bear one of three safety messages designed to raise awareness about traffic safety.

“We are hoping to get a lot of visibility,” said Shirley Wise, Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force coordinator.

The important safety messages touch on driving too close, underage drinking and drinking and driving with children in the car. The ads will travel with the buses for the next two months and $4,500. The signs were funded by state, federal and local dollars.

Representatives from various organizations were on hand to help unveil the three safety messages. Sheriff Steve Boyer welcomed everyone and spoke of the importance of traffic safety.

“Traffic safety in near and dear to my heart,” he said.

Richard Hayes, Kitsap Transit executive director, focused on the partnerships that made it possible to get the safety messages out to the public and said how happy Kitsap Transit was to participate. Naval Base Kitsap Commanding Officer Capt. Douglass Biesel explained how imperative the Navy’s role is in reducing underage drinking, especially among sailors.

Drinking not only affects traffic safety but lives throughout the military and the statistics are shocking, he said.

Biesel explained that the Navy offers training to help reduce underage drinking. He also touched on the fact that the programs are designed to educate newly reporting sailors and added that many of them are right out of high school. The programs also focus on supervisors’ abilities to identify a drinking problem. His speech led to the unveiling of the safety message that reads, “Are Your Kids Making Friends or Drinking Buddies?”

Washington State Patrol District 8 Commander Capt. Mark Thomas also was on hand to unveil the second message which reads, “What part of the ‘two second rule’ don’t you understand?” and displays a picture of a van rammed under the back tires of a

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