Edwards, with its limitless sky, long straight roads and expansive landscape, seems to lend itself to speeding down the open road. However appealing it may be to drive just a little bit faster to get to your destination, the consequences are surely not worth the risk.
The 412th Security Forces Squadron wants to remind motorists to abide by the posted speed throughout the installation.
“Excessive speeding is a major concern here on Edwards, especially during the summer months when children are out of school, “said Lt. Col. Kris Zhea, 412th Security Forces Squadron commander.
The 412th SFS will step-up traffic enforcement throughout the base to ensure everyone’s safety.
“Safety of our base community is our number one concern. We will place ‘speed carts’ around base to remind drivers to slow down”.
Speed carts are a mobile speed measuring device that displays a motorist’s speed when the posted speed limit is exceeded. These devices remind drivers to slow down and observe the speed limits. Such devices are common along interstate construction zones.
In addition to putting yourself and others at risk by speeding and disregarding traffic rules, the Air Force has a mandatory traffic point system in place to assess points for moving violations. The points are used to determine if base driving privileges should be suspended and for how long. That means you may not drive your car onto the installation or drive anywhere on the installation. Military members operating government and private vehicles on or off the installation are subject to point assessments for moving violations. Civilian employees operating GOVs on or off the installation, as well as their POVs on base, are also subject to the point system. Dependents are as well.
For instance, depending on the speed, type or number of violations, drivers may not lose their driving privileges or could lose them for up to one year.
Suspension periods for speeding violations are outlined below.
Suspension Period of Base Driving Privileges, EDWARDSAFBI 31-280, Edwards Air Force Base Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision
1-10 mph over limit:
1st Offense (3 points)
2nd Offense (3 points) 3-Day suspension
3rd Offense (3 points) 1-year suspension per EAFBI within 12 months
11-15 mph over limit:
1st Offense (4 points)
2nd Offense (4 points) 10-Day suspension
3rd Offense (4 points) 1-year suspension per EAFBI within 12 months
16-20 mph over limit:
1st Offense (5 points) 15-Day suspension
2nd Offense (5 points) 30-Day suspension
3rd Offense (5 points) 1-year suspension per EAFBI within 12 months
21-24 mph over limit:
1st Offense (6 points) 90-Day suspension by 412th Mission Support Group commander
2nd Offense (6 points) 1-year suspension per EAFBI within 12 months
25 mph and over limit:
1st Offense (6 points) 6-month to 1-year suspension determined by 412th MSG/CC
2nd Offense 1-year suspension per EAFBI within 12 months
In addition to having driving privileges suspended, civilians are also subject to prosecution in Magistrate Court, which typically involves at least two court appearances, one in Bakersfield, Calif., and one at Edwards.
Fines can be hefty. Military members are also subject to administrative actions, such as a letter of counseling; letter of admonishment or letter of reprimand; non-judicial punishment (Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice); or punitive actions under the UCMJ, including, but not limited to Article 111.
In addition to the suspension of driving privileges outlined in AFI 31-204, Air Force Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, and EDWARDSAFBI 31-280, squadron commanders have the authority and discretion to suspend driving privileges for up to 30 days for any traffic violations, even if the point total does not reach suspension levels recommended by the instructions.
The bottom line is that even though driving the speed limit may feel as slow as walking at times, imagine how slow it will feel if you actually have to walk. Personally and professionally, there is much to be lost by speeding and committing other moving violations. Please, slow down and follow the traffic laws.
Editor’s note: Maj. Janelle Walden, Air ForceTest Center Judge Advocate contributed to this article.