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Engaged leaders and TRiPS key to accident reduction

Engaged leaders and TRiPS key to accident reduction

Lori Yerdon
Directorate of Communication and Public Affairs
U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center

For many Soldiers, the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center is synonymous with one of its most frequently used tools — the Travel Risk Planning System, or TRiPS.

TRiPS is an online risk assessment tool developed to help commanders and leaders mitigate risk and reduce accidents involving Soldiers driving private motor vehicles and motorcycles outside their local area.

To date, Soldiers have completed more than 10 million TRiPS assessments since its inception in fiscal 2004. Safety officials across the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard agree the program has been instrumental in reducing PMV accidents.

"All the services have adopted TRiPS and recognize its ability to promote engagement between leaders and subordinates regarding driving safety," said Derek Kovacsy, automated risk tools program manager at the USACR/Safety Center. "Despite its effectiveness, TRiPS is not intended to replace a supervisor’s role in approving leave, nor should it become a check-the-block system to provide a paper trail after an accident."

During fiscal 2011, only 21 percent of fatal PMV-4 and PMV-2 accidents involving Soldiers driving more than 150 miles from their home installation occurred on TRiPS-assessed travel. That effectiveness improved to 19 percent during fiscal 2012.

"While there’s not one specific, magic solution in reducing motor vehicle accidents, TRiPS definitely raises an individual’s awareness about risks involved before they head out on a road trip," said Walter Beckman, program manager, Driving Directorate, USACR/Safety Center. "In turn, TRiPS gives supervisors visibility of their Soldiers’ plans and affords the opportunity for discussion and mentorship."

TRiPS was recently upgraded with an improved motorcycle section and space for digital comments, plus the addition of a digitally signable AKO MyForms DA-31 leave form and safety banners relevant to specific assessments. Safety officials are currently developing a redesign that will significantly increase the system’s capabilities.

"TRiPS gives leaders a snapshot of where their Soldiers are going and how they’re planning to get there," said Master Sgt. Michael Smith, ground accident investigator, USACR/Safety Center. "I like that TRiPS helps put the onus of risk mitigation on the Soldiers and gives them buy-in into risk management."

Soldiers are required to fill out TRiPS assessments before traveling outside the local area on leave, pass, permanent change of station or official travel, according to Army Regulation 385-10, The Army Safety Program. Department of the Army Civilians also are required to fill out an assessment prior to official travel or PCS.

"It’s important to remember that TRiPS is just a tool to aid leaders and not a replacement or catch-all for associated risks," Smith said. "Nothing will beat a well-trained leader who cares for the safety of his or her Soldiers."

More information on TRiPS and driving safety is available at https://safety.army.mil.

  • 8 January 2014
  • Author: Army Safety
  • Number of views: 15048
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