By Ms. Lori Yerdon (TRADOC)June 17, 2009
HUMPHREYS GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- The doors to Humphreys' Army Traffic Safety Training Facility opened here, June 2, making this the only overseas Army installation to have such a facility.
"What this (facility and Army Traffic Safety Training program) is going to do is augment driver's training programs that unit commanders currently have in place," said Randy Turnage, USAG-Humphreys safety manager.
The facility cost approximately $500,000 and took almost three years to build. It is equipped with one motorcycle simulator and 25 driving station simulators, affording Soldiers with little or no driving experience an opportunity to learn and hone their skills before getting behind the wheel of a car or climbing on a motorcycle.
The driving stations allow students to practice driving a standard or automatic transmission vehicle and each simulator has three monitors that flash various traffic scenarios for the students to negotiate; various weather conditions such as fog, snow or rain may become factors for drivers as well.
The motorcycle simulator has a sports bike chassis and, like the driving stations, riders learn to operate a motorcycle under numerous weather and traffic scenarios. A unique aspect of this simulator is its full-motion capability that gives riders a realistic riding experience.
During the opening ceremony several volunteers test-drove the simulators and were amazed.
After driving the motorcycle simulator, 20-year veteran rider Master Sgt. William Harris, 527th Military Intelligence Battalion said the experience was different.
"I really had to go back to the basics on how to ride in order to keep upright," he said. "The simulator is good especially for inexperienced riders so they can learn the basics."
The simulators are not only for beginners -- skilled motorcyclists and motorists can also brush up on their driving skills.
With the opening of the facility, students will complete a one-hour training session on the motorcycle simulator before attending the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Riders' Course. Using the simulator will help students learn the fundamentals of riding before hitting the highway.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider's course is a requirement for all Soldiers to ride their motorcycles on or off military installations.
"We have been accident free in privately-owned vehicles, non-tactical vehicles, Army tactical vehicles and motorcycles over the last three years here at Humphreys," Turnage said.
"Hopefully with the addition of this facility, coupled with active safety programs, we'll be able to continue to provide a safe future for Humphreys' community members. We want to put this brand new facility to good use - give us a call," said Turnage.