Health & Safety

July 12, 2012

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Cpl. Aaron Diamant
Desert Warrior Staff

Vehicle collisions on the air station have risen at an alarming rate, most of them occurring in parking lots as people back into other vehicles.

“People aren’t paying attention when backing up,” said Sgt. Kristopher McGurgan, station accident investigation division chief. “People are driving too fast and not paying attention to their blind spots.”

In fiscal year 2011, there were a total of 87 on-station collisions. So far this fiscal year, there have already been 95, said David Haller, station traffic safety program manager.

“People are driving too fast, especially in parking lots,” said Haller. “The law states you must drive at a speed that is prudent in a parking lot. People are often driving closer to 25 miles per hour, when they should be going 10 mph at most.”

With the large amount of construction occurring on station and the influx or Marines coming to Yuma for exercises, such as the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course and Javelin Thrust, the number of people regularly traversing the air station has grown.

“The parking lots are getting more and more crowded, so it’s increasingly important to take your time and pay attention,” said McGurgan. “Slow down. Take your time exiting the parking stall.”

Station orders state any accident occurring on station must be reported to the provost marshal’s office, no matter how minor, added Haller.

At-fault collisions also earn the offender a traffic citation. Citations add points to a person’s station driving record, and too many points can lead to a revocation of on-station driving privileges.

Additionally, any traffic citation received on station requires the recipient to attend an eight-hour course called Attitudinal Dynamics of Driving. Classes occur over two sessions, on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Friday from 4-8 p.m. Participants must attend both sessions.

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