One of my additional duties is the Brigade Safety Officer. I've been preparing this week for our quarterly safety council brief with all the battalion commanders, and I'm glad to report that the 35th Signal Brigade is looking pretty safe! Our battalions have passed safety inspections, established some good programs to reduce reckless driving, and only reported 2 vehicle accidents the entire fiscal year.
What can an Army commander do to promote safe driving? Here's just a few options a company commander has:
- He can write a counseling for any unsafe act that is observed, whether a Soldier got a ticket or not. This counseling will then go into a soldier's counseling packet and can be used as evidence if that soldier ever gets into bigger trouble later on.
- He can issue an order that the Soldier not drive recklessly. While this sounds like just words, if the Soldier drives recklessly again or gets a ticket, the commander can then initiate UCMJ action for disobeying a lawful order, with much bigger consequences.
- He can revoke driving privileges within his company area, at the very least. Some posts might allow commanders to revoke on-post driving privileges altogether, depending on the severity of the driving infraction. Having to ask others to give him a ride to work often makes a Soldier rethink his driving decisions.
Soldiers are too important to lose to a traffic accident.