Fort Riley buckles up for safety's sake
The 1st Infantry Division Garrison Safety Office helped people try out a seatbelt convincer at the Post Exchange Sept. 3, as part of Motor Vehicle Safety Day. The seat-belt convincer enabled a passenger to experience the actual force generated by a low-speed collision.

FORT RILEY, Kan. - Buckle up for safety's sake and for the sake of the 1st Infantry Division and Garrison Safety Offices.

The offices, in conjunction with the Directorate of Emergency Services, did seat belt checks Sept. 3 as part of Motor Vehicle Safety Day.

The seat belt checks were done at three roundabouts. There was someone stationed at each roundabout with a counter and clipboard. They counted the car occupants who passed by without seat belts and came up with a percentage of drivers and passengers on Fort Riley who use their seat belts.

Of the 2,406 cars checked at the roundabouts, 213 occupants were not wearing their seat belts. Ninty-one percent of the occupants were wearing their seat belts, said Rick Hearron, garrison safety manager.

This number is slightly down from the 97 percent of occupants who were wearing their seat belts during May's Motor Vehicle Safety Day.

Seat belt checks also were done at the Ogden and Estes gates.

At the Ogden Gate, 426 cars were checked and three people were issued citations for not wearing their seat belts.

At the Estes Gate, 113 cars were checked and two individuals were issued warnings for wearing their seat belts improperly.

These additional checks at the Ogden and Estes gates were not included in the 91 percent.

In addition to the seat belt checks, separate vehicle inspections focused on vehicle registration and insurance, drivers' licenses, Motorcycle Foundation Safety cards and protective equipment.

These checks were just part of the Motor Vehicle Safety Day events at Fort Riley.
Motor Vehicle Safety Days are usually recognized before the long weekends for Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, said Rod Cruz, a safety specialist with the Garrison Safety Office.

Activities also included a child safety seat installation check from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Post Exchange.

A child seat safety technician from the Kansas Department of Transportation was on-hand to verify the technicians were checking the seats properly. This was done to ensure Fort Riley remains a certified Kansas child safety seat check station, Hearron said.

Fifteen cars were checked for proper child safety seat installation.

The state of Kansas gave Fort Riley a grant to donate child safety seats to replace any that were found not serviceable.

Of the 15 child safety seats checked, all were serviceable, but none were installed correctly.

Motor Vehicle Safety Days are required twice a year, but Hearron said they also are offered for another reason.

"More importantly, we do them because they provide awareness and enforce privately owned vehicle safety," he said.

In an effort to increase vehicle safety, child safety seat information brochures were available at the PX. There also was a raffle for an emergency car kit, a severe weather radio and bike helmets.

Hearron estimated his office talked to several hundred people outside the PX about safety issues.

"All in all, it was a successful day ... we were positioned where we caught them going in the door," he said.

Also available at the PX was a seat belt convincer. People were allowed to get in the convincer and experience what it would feel like to be in a low-speed crash.

"We brace someone in there, and it travels between 5 to 10 mph to show them what happens," Cruz said.

Hearron estimated more than 100 people tried the seat belt convincer. This seat belt convincer also will be available for use at the Fall Apple Day Festival, as it was last year.

Another Motor Vehicle Safety Day activity that will reappear at the Fall Apple Day Festival is a free raffle for bike helmets.

The bike helmets also were made available by a grant from the state of Kansas.
For more information on motor vehicle safety, visit the Garrison Safety Office's page at

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16