by Gwen Dooley
Air Force Safety Center
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — “We are losing far too many Airmen to private motor vehicle mishaps” according to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, in their Oct 8 memorandum to all Air Force personnel.
In fiscal 2008, 29 Airmen were killed in motor vehicle mishaps. In fiscal 2009, 47 Airmen have died due to PMV mishaps. The secretary and the chief wrote “our goal from this point on is ZERO Airmen lost in preventable PMV mishaps.”
Mr. Bud Redmond, Air Force Safety Center executive director, said “all mishap prevention programs have compliance and accountability as key elements, and commanders need to ensure both are met.” Non-compliance with seatbelt usage and speed limit laws were identified as causal factors in 68 percent of the motor vehicle fatalities.
The first step in compliance is education. As such, the memo directs commanders to ensure personnel are aware of and enforce the requirements of Air Force Instruction 91-207, The Air Force Traffic Safety Program. Additionally, the memorandum states violations of AFI 91-207, by military personnel, can be punishable under Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Secretary Donley and General Schwartz stated they “cannot tolerate reckless operation of motor vehicles by Air Force personnel.” They asked all personnel for full participation and support as servicemembers move forward to reduce injuries and save lives.
“Airmen have to be aware of the risk they assume while off-duty, mitigate that risk, and don’t take on anymore than their fellow Airmen, or their families, can handle,” said Maj. Gen. Fred Roggero, the Air Force chief of safety. “Every wingman is accountable for their actions, and they shouldn’t make their friends and family pay for their poor judgment.”
The memo is available on the Air Force Safety Center Web site at https://newafpims.afnews.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-091014-082.