FORT LEE, Va. – On Sept. 2, we will celebrate Labor Day, a national observance dating back to 1882 when parades were organized in New York City to recognize the economic and social achievement of America’s workers.
Over time, the holiday weekend also has achieved seasonal significance, marking the end of summer vacation activities and youngsters returning to public school classrooms. Realizing this, many try to squeeze in last-minute road trips or other popular summertime recreational activities, and thus, the Labor Day period has earned the more-disturbing distinction of being one of the most dangerous weekends of the year as people crowd highways and tourist areas.
With increased traffic volume, the potential for motorcycle and automobile accidents is greater. Driver inattention, speed, alcohol and inexperience are key factors in POV and motorcycle crashes. Fatalities become more likely when drivers and passengers don’t wear seatbelts.
Positive action must be taken at each level of command to educate our military and civilian employees on the hazards associated with this holiday. In leader discussions with subordinates, I want special emphasis placed on driving, riding a motorcycle, boating, swimming, barbequing and other recreational activities. Ensure everyone plans to use the risk management process in their on- and off-duty activities heading into and throughout this well-deserved holiday break.
I encourage Soldiers, Army Civilians, and family members to fully enjoy the holiday, and I challenge you to place safety at the top of your holiday plans by making the right choices in whatever you do. Thank you for your service and all you do for our Army and the nation.
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