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    MARINES LEARN TO BE “STREET SMART”/海兵隊員、「ストリート・スマート(生き抜く力)」を学ぶ


    Photo By Yoshie Makiyama | Maj. Gen. Stephen E. Liszewski, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations...... read more read more



    Story by Yoshie Makiyama 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    Everyone who drives a car has probably experienced at least one or two near-misses in their life. It can happen no matter how careful you are. However, it is said that the younger you are, the higher the risk of a fatal accident gets.

      Unfortunately Marines and sailors in Okinawa are no exception. According to the Installation Safety Office of Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, common risk factors that contribute to privately owned vehicle incidents among young Marines include: distracted driving, driving while intoxicated or under the influence, and driving too fast for conditions.

      Shawn M. Curtis, director of the MCIPAC-MCBB Installation Safety Office, stated that the operation of a vehicle in Japan is a courtesy extended to Status of Forces Agreement personnel by the Japanese government and comes with the expectation that SOFA personnel adhere to host nation traffic laws and regulations.

      To prevent driving incidents among Marines and sailors, the safety office invited a team from Florida’s Stay Alive from Education (S.A.F.E.) to educate young drivers to prevent tragic accidents. Eleven training sessions were held from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2, 2022 throughout Marine installations in Okinawa with more than 3,000 participants.

      To share this event with local municipalities, Sept. 1, MCIPAC G7, Government and External Affairs, invited officials from Okinawa Prefectural Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Okinawa Defense Bureau, Okinawa Prefectural Police, Ginowan City, Kitanakagusuku Village, Chatan Town, and Okinawa City to observe the training.

      During the hour-and-a-half interactive session conducted by two state-certified firefighters and emergency medical technicians from the Florida SAFE team, Marines were educated by focusing on injuries and fatalities of car accidents. With two Marine volunteers, the presenters acted out responding to a crash, finding one survivor, and performing life-saving procedures.

      The presentation included many images and videos of car crashes, showing the types of injuries that can occur from careless driving. One video showed that people in the crash were thrown out of the car because they were not wearing seatbelts.  

      “The purpose was to make it very impactful,” said Oscar Duran, a firefighter paramedic and presenter of the Florida SAFE team. “Sometimes you have to stir feelings out to make changes, especially certain age groups that we are trying to target: 17-18 to 26-27. At that age, they don’t have enough life experience to see how fragile life is.”   

    The Florida SAFE team does not tell the audience what to do or not. They show the audience the consequences of what poor choices lead to. By seeing images and videos, the audience realizes that it could happen and it is the reality of the result with the decision you make. The Florida SAFE team wants young drivers to learn and make better decisions, and avoid poor decisions.

      According to Duran, once, after giving a session at a high school, the students reported that they had been in a rollover type crash on their way back from lunch on the very same day, but everyone was unharmed because they all wore their seat belts. However, the students also confessed that they had never used seat belts before, but because they saw the presentation, they put the belts on. Duran said with a big smile that the presentation that day made a big difference in their lives.

      After the session, one of the Japanese observers suggested that next time the presenter introduce the difference between Japan and the U.S. blood alcohol content, with the U.S. at 0.08% (0.8 mg/ml) and Japan at 0.03% (0.3 mg/ml), and that just a single night of sleep would not lower the number. Duran said they could cooperate and add the information to their curriculum.

      “We came to observe how the program runs since we also have similar training from the same traffic safety point of view,” said Akihiko Chibana, foreign case investigations coordinator from Criminal Investigation Department of Okinawa Prefectural Police. “We are glad that we actually got to see firsthand how the training is done.”

      The safety office conducts weekly E-3 and below driver training and also once or twice a month remedial driver training comprised of both the American Automobile Association accredited curriculum and Japanese traffic regulations. Additionally all active duty Marines under the age of 26 must take drivers awareness online training.

      Tragic incidents are preventable among personnel in Okinawa. They place a heavy burden on families and friends, readiness, and the bilateral relationship between the governments of Japan and the United States.

    "We will continue to do everything possible to ensure that we are safe drivers, good members of the community and good neighbors here in Okinawa," said Maj. Gen. Stephen E. Liszewski.




     海兵隊員や海軍兵のこうした運転事故を防ぐため、安全部はフロリダ州のS.A.F.E.(Stay Alive from Education 教育から生まれる生き抜く力)から研修チームを招き、若年ドライバーへの教育を通じて悲惨な事故を防止するための講習会を実施した。2022年8月29日から9月2日にかけて、沖縄の海兵隊基地で計11回の講習会が行われ、総参加者数は3,000人以上にのぼった。









     基地安全部では、毎週上等兵以下の免許保持者に運転者講習会を実施しているほか、月に1~2回、米国自動車協会のカリキュラムと日本の交通法規の両方で構成された運転者補習講習も行なっている。 また、26歳以下の現役海兵隊員は、運転者意識向上トレーニングのオンライントレーニングを受講することが義務づけられている。





    Date Taken: 01.18.2023
    Date Posted: 01.30.2023 17:58
    Story ID: 437237
    Location: OKINAWA, JP

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