By Angela Galloway, ANAD Safety OfficeJanuary 25, 2018
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Would you purposely drive in front of a train, a tractor-trailer or even another vehicle?
I hope the answer is a resounding, "NO!"
Putting yourself in the way of a M1 Tank, Stryker or other combat vehicle moving at 45 miles per hour or faster can be just as dangerous.
Employees at Anniston Army Depot have given in to temptation and bypassed the barriers at the installation's Test Track three times since the beginning of 2018, according to "near miss" reports.
In one report, a vehicle drove around the barriers while a Stryker was being tested on the track. Strykers are frequently driven between 62 and 65 miles per hour during testing and an accident could have resulted in significant injuries.
"While an M1 was rounding the track, an EZGO drove around the downed barriers. They drove around the barriers entering and exiting the track," said another report.
On a third occasion, during testing of a M109, two separate vehicles ignored the gates and crossed the track. Fortunately, on that occasion, personnel from the Directorate of Emergency Services were on hand and were able to stop the vehicles and reprimand the drivers.
When the test track is in operation and the barriers are down, no one should cross the track.
"This continues to be a problem with personnel crossing the Test Track around the downed barriers while a vehicle is on the track. We are concerned this will lead to serious injuries if not resolved," said Bobby Easterwood, a heavy mobile equipment leader for Final Operations.
It may be difficult to judge how close the heavy mobile equipment vehicle is, or how fast it's moving, so the gap between the vehicle attempting to cross and the vehicle approaching could be far too small to avoid a potentially fatal collision.
Don't be tempted to try to get through closed barriers. You can never be sure, so don't take the risk.
Remember, nothing is so important it can't wait.
Safety is all of our responsibility.