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Columbus Day safety message

Posted 10/7/2011   Updated 10/7/2011 Email story   Print story


by Col. Robert Evans
JBER and 673d ABW Commander

10/7/2011 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Columbus Day marks the anniversary of the discovery of our great nation. It is also a long holiday weekend. Many of our Airmen, Soldiers, civilian and families will set out to take advantage of one of the last opportunities to enjoy Alaska before winter sets in. This increases the risk of accidents. We all need to do our part to keep our family strong and safe.
     Safety never takes time off, we all need to work together to remain vigilant to prevent on- and off-duty accidents this Columbus Day weekend. According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people are killed and more than 3 million people are injured in motor vehicle crashes. Crashes are the leading cause of injury and death for all people between the ages of 3 and 33.
     As we near the end of the year, hours of daylight get shorter. You can reduce the likelihood of getting into an accident by driving defensively, not talking on cell phones while driving, keeping your vehicle in top running condition, not driving under the influence and following the posted speed limits.
     Now is a good time to ensure your vehicle is winterized. A lot of accidents in Alaska are due to the operators' failure to adjust their driving to the dangerous conditions during winter months or the occasional failure or malfunctioning of equipment. Don't wait until it freezes or snows to load your car with the equipment necessary to combat the elements. During the winter months take a little extra time to prepare your car for safe driving.
     Whether your plans include driving to watch the sunrise over the Alaskan mountains or and camping with the family, Suzy and I hope you enjoy your holiday without taking unnecessary risks. Look out for each other. Together, we can save lives and stay arctic tough, mission ready and family strong!

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