By Chris Frazier, Directorate of Communication and Public Affairs, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety CenterMay 8, 2014
A much-used trip-planning tool has received a facelift that improves user capabilities.
The U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center released the redesigned Travel Risk Planning System, or TRiPS, May 8. The change is the first significant redesign of the tool since December 2005, when the program was prepared for joint-service use, said Derek Kovacsy, automated risk tools program manager at the USACR/Safety Center.
"Since then, we've collected valuable feedback to be implemented in the upgrade," Kovacsy said. "Many of the enhancements will occur behind the scenes as software modernizations. However, we're hopeful that service members and DOD civilians will benefit from the functional improvements they've requested."
Enhancements to TRiPS include:
• Improved user email compatibility
• Multi-leg, round-trip and one-way travel
• Mapping upgrade with support service interface
• Road construction, weather and hazard notification
• Smartphone apps (coming soon)
• User load capability
• Re-designate service for joint-service environment
• Recreational vehicle and trailer towing planner
TRiPS was developed in 2004 to help commanders and leaders mitigate risk and reduce accidents involving Soldiers driving private motor vehicles and motorcycles outside their local area. Soldiers are required to complete TRiPS assessments before traveling on leave, pass, permanent change of station or official travel, according to Army Regulation 385-10, The Army Safety Program. In addition, Department of the Army Civilians are also required to complete an assessment prior to official travel or PCS.
Since its inception, Soldiers have completed more than 10 million TRiPS assessments. During fiscal 2012, only 19 percent of fatal PMV-4 and PMV-2 accidents involving Soldiers driving more than 150 miles from their home installation occurred on TRiPS-assessed travel. That effectiveness improved to 8 percent during fiscal 2013.
"Literally millions upon millions of miles have been driven after TRiPS, with minimal fatalities," said Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Edens, director of Army Safety and commanding general, U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center. "But it only works if leaders use it to reach their Soldiers on risk mitigation. Simply completing an assessment won't make a Soldier safer, but using that information to facilitate effective communication between the Soldier and his or her leader will. That's what TRiPS makes possible."
Lt. Col. Joseph Harvey, director, Driving Directorate, USACR/Safety Center, said the upgrade will benefit not only Soldiers, but members of sister services as well.
"I'm excited for the release of the revised TRiPS," he said. "This will be an even better tool for service members and leaders across DOD to use to mitigate risk while traveling."
More information on TRiPS and driving safety is available at https://safety.army.mil.