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Army December 6, 2012
stay safe this Christmas
RISKS THIS CHRISTMAS
Lt-Col Peter Conroy
CHRISTMAS is a chance to cel-
ebrate and a time to enjoy good
times with family and friends.
Christmas is also a time when
many of us like to enjoy the occa-
sional alcoholic drink.
We all look forward to cel-
ebrating at Christmas parties,
barbecues and other social occa-
sions. That's why it is important to
keep safe when drinking alcohol.
By looking out for those around
you, role modelling appropriate
behaviours and consuming alco-
hol in a responsible way you will
be sure to enjoy your social event
and prevent harm to yourself or
Responsible drinking is about
having a plan. So before you go
out, think about how you can
reduce the risk to yourself and
keep your friends and family safe.
The following tips can help
you enjoy that Christmas party or
social occasion in a safe manner.
Plan how you will get home:
Have a designated driver. If
you drink and drive, you could
seriously injure yourself or
someone else. Accidents can
also be fatal.
Put money aside in your wallet
for a taxi fare home.
Make sure you have key con-
tact phone numbers in case
you need a safe ride home.
Eat before you go out and
snack throughout the night.
Alternate alcoholic drinks with
water or soft drinks. Don't mix
Choose a place where you
intend to spend most of the
Don't be pressured into a
"shout" or "catching up".
Tell your friends and family
what your plan is.
Look out for those around you:
Have a meeting place in case
you are separated.
Use an app to stay in touch
with the group.
Stay with the group.
If someone has had too much
to drink, step up and look after
them before it gets out of hand.
For more tips on staying safe over the
Christmas period, check out the Force
Protection Alcohol Intranet site at
Cpl Nick Wiseman
CONVENTIONAL road trauma edu-
cation has taken second place this year
with one soldier determined to make
a difference to the road toll -- with the
help of a 3000 horsepower drag car.
The drag car was a great intro-
duction to soldiers from Robertson
Barracks on the effects of road trauma.
Cpl Simon Van Ballekom started
campaigning safer driving two years
ago when he decided he was fed up
seeing soldiers become statistics on the
He developed his presentation after
completing a Bachelor of Policing and
said he had been fortunate to work with
key stakeholders in road trauma reduc-
"Sadly, during this festive time of
year, as soldiers proceed on posting or
holidays, the road toll and risk of being
involved in a vehicle collision rises," he
"My presentation has been offered to
units at 1 Bde and RAAF Base Darwin
in the hope it can be developed nation-
Cpl Van Ballekom's presentation
lasts an hour and a half and begins with
the appearance of a drag car for soldiers
to get in and talk about.
"It's actually a great education tool,"
"I show them how these cars are
made for speed and specially designed
to withstand high-speed accidents --
your everyday vehicle is not."
After photo opportunities and talks
about the car, the group moves indoors
for a presentation on road trauma and
Rather than use gruesome post-acci-
dent photos, Cpl Van Ballekom focuses
on the human cost of road trauma and
includes activities to educate and pro-
mote safe driving techniques.
Due to the unavailability of the
originally booked drag car, Peter Coles
(Coles Motors Palmerston) and Matt
Able (Able Tiling Services) came to the
rescue, supplying one of their drag cars
for the second day of the program with
less than a day's notice. Traffic Worx
NT also assisted with the event.
Making road trauma real
brings a 3000
drag car to
to talk road
safety with 1
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