Safety important this holiday season
November 17, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. --With the holiday season fast approaching, we will reacquaint ourselves with the Loaded 45 Holiday Safety Campaign. Most of you are familiar with the terminology, "Loaded 45," but in case you don't recognize the phrase, it refers to the 45-day period that runs from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.
During this holiday period, our Soldiers and civilians take advantage of their passes and leave time along with everyone else in the country. This significantly increases the numbers on our highways and therefore increases the potential for accidents.
Unfortunately, in many accidents during the holiday season, alcohol will play a role. Most parties and get-togethers that we will attend will include alcohol. Don't forget that drinking and driving spells disaster.
If you plan to drink, drink responsibly and always have a designated driver.
Keep in mind that during the holiday season, law enforcement officials on and off post, will be stepping up their enforcement of traffic laws and regulations. Those who drink alcohol at Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation-operated facilities on post can request to be driven home. The best part of this offer is that the ride is free. The patron only needs to ask the FMWR bartender.
As for long-distance traveling, something at your disposal is the Travel Risk Planning System, which allows Soldiers and Army civilians to complete a POV risk assessment concerning their trip. TRiPS can be accessed through the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center website at https://safety.army.mil/.
Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training Soldiers are required to sign a POV safety contract with their platoon or drill sergeant before departing for block leave. Leaders are also mandated to make sure no Soldier or civilian employee leaves for the holiday period without a safety awareness briefing.
There are a number of simple things that Soldiers and civilians can do to ensure a safe trip on the roadways. For starters, wear your seatbelt.
Don't drive when you are tired. Don't drive distracted with cell phones or other electronic devices. Always watch for the "other guy" and drive defensively.
A lot of this boils down to good common sense. If you exercise good judgment at all times, your odds of stumbling into harm's way are greatly reduced. There is nothing more troubling than to hear or read about a Soldier who was involved in an accident that could have been prevented if he or she had practiced the principles of safety and good discipline. Discipline equals safety; if you are disciplined, you are safe.
If you adhere to good discipline during your time away from Fort Jackson, you are improving the odds of a safe return. Last, always apply your values and adhere to the standards to which we live by.
I have complete confidence in all of you, and the expectations that I have for you are not any higher than the ones that I have for myself. Please understand how important you all are to our mission. We cannot afford to lose any of you.
Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!