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Vandenberg to conduct free vehicle safety checks

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - The 30th Space Wing Ground Safety Office is scheduled to conduct free motor vehicle safety checks at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas station here from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 16. The safety office’s vehicle safety checks event is open to all active-duty personnel, spouses, dependents, Department of Defense civilians and retirees with base access. (Courtesy graphic)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - The 30th Space Wing Ground Safety Office is scheduled to conduct free motor vehicle safety checks at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas station here from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 16. The safety office’s vehicle safety checks event is open to all active-duty personnel, spouses, dependents, Department of Defense civilians and retirees with base access. (Courtesy graphic)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 30th Space Wing Ground Safety Office is scheduled to conduct free motor vehicle safety checks at the Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas station here from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 16.

The safety office's vehicle safety checks event is open to all active-duty personnel, spouses, dependents, Department of Defense civilians and retirees with base access.

Several Air Force Space Command bases have been conducting similar events after an Airman was killed in an automobile that, after inspection, was reported to have been unsuitable for the road.

"We are doing this event to prevent what happened to that Airman from repeating," said Staff Sgt. Michael Ferguson, 30th SW ground safety specialist. "The goal of this event is to raise vehicle safety awareness and ultimately reduce vehicle mishaps from occurring."

One of the biggest concerns of the base's ground safety personnel is that people are not taking the time to check their vehicles for maintenance issues before getting behind the wheel, said Sergeant Ferguson.

The responsibility of ensuring a vehicle is safe and operable rests not only in the hands of the driver, but the passengers as well.

"Statistics show us that in vehicle related fatalities, drivers only make up 25 percent of the deaths," Sergeant Ferguson said. "This goes to show that greater percentages (75 percent) of automobile accidents resulting in deaths are the passengers and (or) other motorists."

All makes and models of automobiles as well as motorcycles will be examined at the base's vehicle safety checks event. Vandenberg's Green Knights Motorcycle Club's president, 2nd Lt. Julian Vaiana, and club members will help motorcyclists evaluate their vehicles based on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's T-CLOCK inspection, which checks the vehicle's tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis and kickstand.

"We will be at the event to make sure people understand how to ensure their bike is ready to ride," Lieutenant Vaiana said. "There are a lot of people out there who don't take care of their own vehicles, so they don't really understand what exactly the process is for taking the necessary precautions before getting on (in) their vehicles and driving off."

Since the Air Force's biggest asset is its people, Vandenberg is hosting this event to help preserve its personnel from preventable mishaps.

For more information, call Staff Sgt. Michael Ferguson at 605-2607.