Safety officers ask motorists to slow down, look around and reduce sound during CST season and beyond
Safety officers are getting the word out now for Fort Knox personnel and visitors to expect delays at gates during this year’s Cadet Summer Training season. At key times throughout the summer, visitors will travel to Fort Knox to witness their cadets’ graduations, which will affect traffic. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. — Throughout the year Fort Knox commuters face some of the same hazards as those traveling elsewhere.

Those hazards become exponentially heightened during the summer when thousands of college students arrive for Cadet Summer Training, say safety officials. As a result, they are asking motorists to start preparing now for this year’s influx.

“I call it ‘prevention through awareness,’” said Vincent Bacon, officer at Fort Knox Safety. “What I mean by that is, from May through August there are going to be about 14,000 additional personnel on Fort Knox in support of CST.”

The thousands that will participate in CST beginning May 31 include 7,000-plus cadets attending 13 Basic and Advanced camps; they also include cadre, and friends and family members arriving to celebrate when the cadets graduate.

“This means there will be a lot of extra traffic at the gates,” said Bacon. “There will also be a lot of cadets and others using crosswalks on the installation.”

Cadets arrive by various modes of transportation, including those who drive themselves.

Cadets who bring their personally owned vehicles must store them throughout their time at Fort Knox until after graduation, according to officials at U.S. Army Cadet Command, which puts all cadets on foot in and around the Disney Barracks area. As a result, leaders will again reduce the speed limit on Wilson Road that runs by Disney Barracks from 35 mph to 25.

Though they spend most of their time at Disney Barracks, cadets are temporarily released during family days to spend time with friends and loved ones. At that time, some can be seen crossing streets at shopping locations.

“There are four crosswalks of most concern,” said Bacon. “One being the 24-hour shoppette [at Spearhead Division Avenue and Wilson Road] – in the past we would see a lot of cadets trying to cross that crosswalk.”

Safety officers ask motorists to slow down, look around and reduce sound during CST season and beyond
Police officers from the Directorate of Emergency Services hand out tickets to those who violate the rules of the road at Fort Knox throughout the year. Safety officers warn that visitors also receive them. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

A second location is Burger King on Eisenhower Avenue.

“With cadets going to that Burger King and the small shoppette, there have been some near misses in the past,” said Bacon.

The main Exchange location is third area for motorists to watch for cadets and their families and friends, especially during family days and graduations. Sadowski on Wilson Road is the fourth location of concern, said Bacon.

Leaders from Cadet Command have announced this year’s graduation dates.

Basic Camp will have as many as 1,200 cadets attending with three graduation dates planned: July 27, Aug. 6, and Aug. 16. Advanced Camp will train over 6,000 cadets in 10 regiments graduating throughout the summer. Those dates are July 4, 9, 14, 19, 24 and 29; and Aug. 3, 8, 13 and 18.

Cadet Command officials said family days will always occur the day prior to each graduation. Bacon said the Fort Knox community needs to plan for delays and issues, especially near Brooks Parade Field.

“On those days, expect delays at the gates,” said Bacon. "Also expect delays around the installation where the graduations occur."

Bacon said another concern of safety officers is with motorcycles on the roads as the weather warms up.

“There are a lot of installation motorcycle rides coming up,” said Bacon. “We’re asking motorists to keep aware of them as they move about in the area.”

Bacon directed his final word of warning at the housing areas: Slow down!

“A kid got hit a couple of weeks ago in a housing area,” said Bacon. “Some people are not obeying the speed limits.

“All motorists, whether new to the installation or not, need to obey the speed limit signs, pay attention to what’s going around them, turn down their music while coming through the gates, and put down their cell phones while they’re driving.”