Health & Safety

May 17, 2012

March Air Reserve Base takes tougher stance on traffic enforcement

by Darnell Gardner
452 Public Affairs Office
U.S. Air Force photo / Dennis Rogers

Traffic rule enforcement at March Air Reserve Base will soon be comparable to, if not stricter than, its neighbors in the surrounding counties. The 452d Security Forces Squadron will be closely monitoring traffic activities for moving and parking violations, and issuing citations using a point system identified in MARB Instruction 31-204. Team March members are expected to always follow the rules of the road.

Starting May 7, security forces personnel will begin using RADAR, a small Doppler radar device used to measure the speed of a vehicle, as a means to determine if drivers are exceeding the legal speed limit. There will be a week-long grace period of warnings, but on May 14, actual speeding tickets will be issued. The speed limit on March ARB is 25 mph, unless otherwise posted. However, when driving in base lodging and housing areas, the speed limit is reduced to 15 mph. While driving in parking lots, you may not exceed 5 mph.

Driving while distracted is fast becoming the number one cause for moving violations. It is illegal and unwise to operate a cell phone or any electronic device while driving. When operating a moving vehicle, all Air Force personnel are prohibited from using these devices on or off DOD installations. The same rules apply if on duty status but not on a DOD installation, so if caught, expect zero tolerance from the citing officer.

We all know that alcohol and driving do not mix. However, you do not have to be drinking in order to be cited for an alcohol-related moving incident. It is unlawful for the driver to have a bottle, can, or other receptacle containing any alcoholic beverage, which has been opened or the seal broken, while operating a vehicle on a roadway. An open container should be kept in the trunk of the vehicle, unless there is no trunk, in which case the container should be in an area away from the operator or passengers.

Parking is prohibited on any street, roadway or other area, except those designated as parking areas. If drivers ignore this rule, it will be considered a non-moving infraction and a citation will be issued. Vehicles must park in designated parking lots within properly striped parking spaces. Vehicles parked in excess of 72 hours will be cited and towed. For members requiring long-term parking, MARB Instruction 31-204, paragraph 7.8, provides instructions and rules on how to submit a request.

Department of Defense Form 1408, signed by an on-duty security forces person, is considered evidence that a traffic violation has occurred and provides a basis for the unit commander to take disciplinary or administrative action. The unit commander will provide the suspected violator a personal hearing, upon request. During the hearing, the individual may present witnesses or evidence in their defense and the unit commander should conduct whatever additional investigation deemed necessary. The unit commander may also consult with the wing’s staff judge advocate, if necessary. At the conclusion of the investigation, the unit commander must decide whether the person is guilty and take appropriate action.

The point system for traffic infractions is assessed against a person and will remain in effect, for point accumulation purposes, for 24 consecutive months. Military members and Department of the Air Force personnel who accumulate six or more points within six months, or who are identified by his or her unit commander, will be scheduled by the unit or agency to attend Traffic Safety Course V.

The following is a list of traffic violations and their point assessment:

  • Driver involved in accident and is deemed responsible: 1 point (in addition to other citable offenses which resulted in the accident)
  • Operating an unsafe vehicle as specified in paragraph 9.3: 2 points
  • Defective vehicle: 2 points
  • Speed too fast for existing road conditions: 2 points
  • Speed to slow, causing potential safety hazard: 2 points
  • Improper overtaking: 3 points
  • Improper turning movement (no traffic sign involved): 3 points
  • Wearing of headphones/earphones while operating a vehicle, bicycle, skates, or skateboard (Bluetooth devices are authorized to wear): 3 points
  • Use of a wireless phone while operating a moving POV/GOV vehicle to include texting. (writing, receiving and sending) : 3 points
  • Failure to wear required safety equipment while riding a bicycle, motorcycle, moped, or three/four wheel vehicles powered by an engine: 3 points
  • Driving 1-10 mph over posted speed limit: 3 points
    NOTE: Speeding 5-10 mph over posted speed limit in the base “Gilley” lodging area is an automatic 6-month probation. (See housing area/school zone defined in the glossary of terms.)
  • Use of a radar detector or device which emits erroneous speed: 3 points
  • Other moving violations (involving driver behavior only): 3 points
  • Negligent driving: 4 points
  • Driving 11-15 mph over posted speed limit: 4 points
  • Following too close: 4 points
  • Failure to yield (no official sign involved): 4 points
  • Failure to obey traffic signals, traffic instructions of an enforcement official or traffic warden, or any official regulatory traffic sign or device requiring a mandatory stop, yield right-of-way, denial of entry, or required direction of traffic: 4 points
  • Improper passing: 4 points
  • Failure of operator or occupants to use available restraint system devices while moving (operator assessed points): 4 points
  • Driving 16-20 mph over posted speed limit: 5 points
  • Speed contests: 6 points
  • Failure to yield right-of-way to emergency vehicle: 6 points

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U.S. Air Force photos by Darnell Gardner

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