Motorcycle safety course registration process changes
Dave Larsen, Sentinel EditorFort Hood has changed the process for Soldiers registering for motorcycle and driving safety classes.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
July 1, the installation migrated to the Digital Training Management System to register and track Army Traffic Safety Training Program courses for Soldiers.
“July last year, the corps issued an operation order mandating all training be tracked in ATTRS or DTMS,” Scott Spencer, chief, Installation Safety Office, said. “We’ve been working the migration issue since August of last year. We started the actual test in May 2012. With the help of G-3 Schools, the beta test went very well. As of July 1, all Fort Hood motorcycle safety courses are on the DTMS training calendar.”
Since 2007, Soldiers used the Army Installation Management Command Registration System, or AIRS, to sign up for the driving and motorcycle riding training provided under ATSTP at the West Fort Motorcycle Training Facility. The AIRS registration system allowed Soldiers to self-register by going to an online site, search for the training they wanted and then apply for it. This potentially bypassed the Soldier’s chain of command, Spencer said.
“Under the old system, we had Soldiers sign up for motorcycle training without any leader involvement, or approval,” he explained. “Under the new system, the Soldier must talk to their unit motorcycle mentor and get approval from the company commander before they can be enrolled in a course by their unit schools NCO.”
Mentorship programs at the unit level are an essential element of the installation’s motorcycle safety program, Spencer said. The new course registration is a step in the right direction, he added.
“Basically, what this addresses is our mentorship programs,” Spencer said. “We are trying to build our motorcycle mentorship programs at the unit level, which allows the mentors to have visibility on Soldiers attending the training and to assess their motorcycle skills.”
Spencer said under the AIRS system, nearly a third of the service members signed up for safety courses “to get out of work for two days without any intention of purchasing a motorcycle. That has stopped with the new tracking system and command involvement.”
Spencer said unit motorcycle mentorship programs vary from unit to unit on the installation.
“We have some units who have really strong, established mentorship programs, and we have others who are just now building their program,” he said. “We have the training at West Fort Hood. Now, if we get more mentorship interaction, we expect that to impact favorably on our accident rate.”
Spencer said knowing how to operate a vehicle safely is only the first part of the process. It’s up to those who ride to do the right thing every time they get on their motorcycle, he said, because it saves lives.
“Our fatalities this year are greater than where we were last year,” Spencer explained. “Some of them (fatalities) are due to indiscipline. We can address the training side of it, the lack of skills, but it’s a challenge that unit leaders are faced with in addressing the indiscipline issues. That’s where the mentorship program comes in.”
Spencer said an added benefit to the change in the registration process is the same DTMS mechanisms Soldiers used in the past to schedule and annotate weapons qualification on the range is now used to schedule and track their ATSTP courses.
“The training done at Fort Hood is documented and transfers with that Soldier wherever he goes in the Army,” Spencer said.
Under ATSTP, Fort Hood offers four motorcycle safety courses: a basic course for beginners, separate experienced rider courses for sports bikes and cruisers, and an advanced course for sport bike riders. Specific ATSTP training is required by Army Regulation 385-10, the Army Safety Program and III Corps Command Policy Letter Safety-02, III Corps and Fort Hood Command Motorcycle Safety Program, dated May 6, 2012.