Good Sam VIP RV Safety Rally Instructors Take the Challenge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Affinity Group, Inc.
Monday December 16, 2002
VENTURA, Calif. -- Taking risks in exciting motor vehicles in exotic locations is a daily occurrence for Bond, Harry Bond that is. Mr. Bond teams with fellow instructor Akio Miyamoto to form the safety instructor squad at the Good Sam VIP RV Safety Rally, sponsored by Affinity Group, Inc. and GMAC Insurance January 26 - February 1, 2003, in Palm Springs, California.
Harry Bond, the RV Safe Driving Coordinator, became the first instructor for GMAC VIP insurance in 1991 to break the monotony of wintering in Florida. Bond is now coordinator of the National Safety Instructors, a group that travels throughout the United States conducting driver safety seminars. He cannot remember how many classes he has taught in his lifetime, but in 2002 the National Safety Instructors reached about 2,200 people through their safety training classes in a total of ten states from Washington to North Carolina. Bond estimates the program averages 35 to 45 classes each year. Under his supervision, instructors drove 16,000 accident-free miles throughout the United States in 2002. Mr. Bond's personal choice for a rig is a 32.5-foot fifth-wheel unit. Bond enjoys instruction, but he uses his experiences to continue learning on and off the road as well. He recalls a situation with one student in particular through which he learned about a condition called PTSD (also known as railroad spine).
"I had a Good Sam member come to me one time and apologize," said Bond. "When I asked him why he wanted to apologize, he stated he had not been a good person. In the conversation, he stated he had been in a terrible accident and was lucky to be alive. Making a long story short, this man had developed PTSD from the bad accident." Bond did research on PTSD and learned a great deal about the topic that has been useful in relating to students with similar conditions.
The second instructor for this year's rally is Akio Miyamoto, a retired police sergeant known as Aki. He holds the position of lead instructor for the General Motors Safe Driving Program. He began his work in driver safety by developing programs for emergency vehicles, such as ambulances and prisoner vans. Aki was approached by Bond to develop the program for the Safety Rally this year. With 22 years of driver training, specializing in high center of gravity vehicles that has brought him from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast, he has been working with RV safety for two years. Aki is also a featured guest speaker at the FBI academy. Through teaching, he continues to learn about safety with every new experience, knowing when it comes to safety you can never know too much.
"Everyone perceives himself to be an excellent driver, but when you put someone in a driver training course, he learns how much he didn't know," said Aki about being a driver safety trainer. "It's a startling realization for everyone."
The second annual Good Sam VIP RV Safety Rally features safety issues such as correct hand signals, serpentine curves, safe passing, parking and turns, off-shoulder recovery and proper RV preparation for highway traffic. Participants will have the opportunity to sit behind the wheel with the instructors, as well as learn and share experiences in a classroom setting.
The event is open to all Good Sam Club members, GMAC policyholders and those who want to increase their traffic safety. The cost is $249 per participant, plus an additional $12 per night for dry on-site camping.
For more information or to register for the event, call 1-800-667-8601.
About Good Sam Club (GSC)
The Good Sam Club, www.goodsamclub.com, is the world's largest RV owner's organization with nearly one million member families. Founded in 1966, the Club offers its members a wide variety of services, including the Continued Service Plan, Emergency Road Service, RV financing and insurance, as well as member discounts to parks, campgrounds and RV events. Good Sam Club members also receive a subscription to Highways, the Club's popular RV travel magazine. Additionally, the Club represents more than 2,000 local RV chapters designed to bring RVers together from similar geographic regions for group camping excursions. Extremely committed to its RV members as well as to the environment, the Club is a founder of the annual National Cleanup Day program and an advocate of public land access, Adopt-A-Highway programs and Adopt-A-Park programs, to name a few. The Good Sam Club is headquartered in Ventura, California, and is a subsidiary of Affinity Group, Inc.
About GMAC Insurance
GMAC Insurance, underwriter for Good Sam VIP RV Insurance, is dedicated to keeping people moving. Offering unique coverages and benefits designed specifically for RV owners, GMAC Insurance understands the special needs of RVers. Policyholders can roam with confidence, knowing that they have a home base to rely on if trouble strikes. GMAC Insurance is part of the General Motors family of companies. With more than $1.3 billion in annual written premiums, GMAC Insurance Personal Lines is the 23rd largest underwriter of personal auto insurance in the United States. A.M. Best, the world's leading independent insurance rating agency, rates GMAC Insurance A+ "Superior" for financial strength and claims paying ability. RVers can depend on that strength to get them back on the road again and protect the freedom of their lifestyle.
About the Affinity Group, Inc. (AGI)
Affinity Group, Inc. (AGI), www.affinitygroup.com, and its affiliated companies serve the safety, security, comfort, and convenience needs of the North American outdoor and recreational vehicle market. The goal is simple: AGI makes RV ownership and the RV lifestyle more enjoyable. With various companies, brands, products and services, AGI targets almost every aspect of this diverse and dynamic niche market. No wonder so many travelers depend on AGI on a daily basis.
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Julie Calzone, Calzone & Associates
337.235.2924 ext. 3 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Wenzel, Affinity Group, Inc.
800.765.1912 ext. 166 email@example.com