[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                     March 28, 2008

Vehicle safety courses offered 
to Fort McCoy community

      Fort McCoy offers a number of opportunities for military personnel and members of the installation's work force to maintain and improve their driving skills.

      The Army has identified motor-vehicle accidents as a leading cause of all accidental fatalities among military personnel.

      So far in 2008 there have been 54 deaths related to privately owned vehicles (POV). This accounts for 64 percent of all accidental deaths.

Vehicle safety

      Army leaders, including Command Sgt. Maj. Tod L. Glidewell of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center, have emphasized that the Army has an ongoing concern about vehicle safety in both on- and off-duty driving. Some of the Armywide accidents reported in February, for example, included vehicle rollovers, vehicle ejections and head-on collisions.

Motorcycle safety courses at Fort McCoy to begin in April

      Fort McCoy will host basic rider courses (BRC) and experienced rider courses (ERC) for motorcyclists with instruction provided by the Ride Safe program from April-September.

      The schedule for BRC, a two-day course from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, will be: April 7-8, 12-13, 21-22, 26-27, May 5-6, 10-11, 17-18, 19-20, June 2-3, 7-8, 16-17, 21-22, June 30-July 1, July 14-15, 19-20, 28-29, Aug. 2-3, 11-12, 16-17, 25-26, and Sept. 8-9, 13-14, 22-23, and 27-28.

      The schedule for ERC, which will run from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, will be: April 5 and 19, May 31, June 28, July 12, Aug. 9 and 23, and Sept. 6 and 20.

      Additional courses may be offered if demand warrants.

      For more information, visit the Web site http://www.ridesafewi.com or call Ride Safe at (715) 299-7728.

      Of special concern is for military personnel to continue to keep their driving skills sharp as they return from deployments and settle back into their stateside roles, Glidewell said.

POV safety

      Lt. Col. Randall Eddy, Fort McCoy installation safety officer, said Fort McCoy, as a mobilization/demobilization site recognizes this and offers a unique presentation about POV safety for Soldiers who demobilize through Fort McCoy.

      "This is approximately an hour-long briefing, and the main focus is to get the Soldiers thinking about safe driving habits and to reinforce defensive driving principles before they have the chance to get behind the wheel of their own POV again," he said.

      Military personnel also can take training offered through the Army Traffic Safety Training Program, which is designed to establish and reinforce positive driving habits and attitudes, Eddy said.

Accident avoidance

      Glidewell said the emphasis of the training is to teach Soldiers to make smart decisions behind the wheel to avoid an accident.

      Many Army installations also offer defensive driving and motorcycle safety courses to help ensure motorists' safety, he said.

      Eddy said Fort McCoy offers a four-hour defensive driving course, which is presented by VT Griffin, to all installation personnel who will drive government vehicles.

      VT Griffin is contracted to provide Directorate of Logistics/Directorate of Public Works services at Fort McCoy.

      For more information about the course or to preregister (required) for the course, authorized personnel in the Fort McCoy community can call (608) 388-6535.

      Personnel who drive government vehicles -- including leased or rental vehicles -- must take the course every four years.

      The course also is available in an online version at the Army Web site at http://www.army.mil. Users will need an Army Knowledge Online account to register.

      The installation also offers several contracted courses through the Cape Fox organization. The Ride Safe Program is subcontracted to provide these courses, which include classroom drivers safety training and the basic and experienced motorcycle riders program. Anyone riding a motorcycle on Fort McCoy must complete a motorcycle safety course -- either a basic or experienced rider's course.

      This year's courses begin in April and run through September. The courses are free to installation military and federal civilian employees, with military personnel having priority.

      Contracted employees and retired military can attend the course in a standby status. If someone is a no show, and there isn't another military or federal civilian personnel on a waiting list, they can attend the course, but will be required to pay a fee.

      Eddy noted that Ride Safe and ABATE (A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) of Wisconsin offer motorcycle safety training off post at cost to civilians. ABATE uses the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy and Ride Safe has a site in Onalaska, Wis.

      More information about schedules/costs can be found at the Web site http://www.ridesafewi.com or by calling Ride Safe at (715) 299-7728.

      More information about the courses at Fort McCoy also is available by calling the Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office at (608) 388-3403.

      The Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers Patriot Warrior Riders Motorcycle Mentorship program, which meets on a regular basis at Fort McCoy, supports interested installation personnel who want to ride their motorcycles with motorcycle safety/motorcycle riding information/events.

      For more information, call Command Sgt. Maj. M. Kevin Dubois at (608) 388-3605.

(Some information from the Combat Readiness/Safety Center)


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