Story and photo by Paul Long, FLEACT, Yokosuka Public Affairs
Fleet Activities (FLEACT), Yokosuka Sailors, members of the local Japanese Police Department and Japanese civic organizations teamed up to promote holiday traffic safety at an event held at Yokosuka Chuo Station, Dec. 6.
The “Zero Tolerance Drinking and Driving Campaign” event is directed to both base personnel and the local Japanese community and the goal of the program is to prevent drinking and driving.
“The Sailors that you see here today represent some of those core people that are committed to peer leadership; to convince our fellow Sailors not to drink or drive; to convince our fellow Sailors not to have that drink; to convince our fellow Sailors it’s OK to take a taxi, instead of driving” said Commander, FLEACT, Yokosuka, Capt. David Glenistersaid during his speech. “It’s OK not to drink at the command party.”
Michael Kretschmer, FLEACT, Yokosuka’s traffic safety officer, also attended the event.
“This event is important on many levels,” said Kretschmer. “Any driving under the influence incidents at all is still far too many. We’re here today to make sure that people are conscious of their decisions far before they ever decide to make them.”
As part of the event, Sailors and the Japanese passed out Daikon (radishes) to the people transiting through the area. Daikon-zetsu also means “great eradication of drunk driving” and passing out the radish symbolizes this play on words.
Ship’s Serviceman 2nd Class Christy Naranjo, president of FLEACT, Yokosuka’s Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions, organized some of the Sailors who participated in this campaign.
“I think it’s incredibly important to participate in events like this,” said Naranjo. “Not only does it remind our shipmates to make responsible decisions, it shows the Japanese people that we care about the impact we have outside of the base.”