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Drivers using cell phones receive citations

Posted 6/8/2010   Updated 6/8/2010 Email story   Print story


6/8/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The 42nd Security Forces Squadron would like to remind drivers that the use of cell phones while operating vehicles on Maxwell and Gunter is illegal and is categorized as a moving violation resulting in a three-point violation. Any driver who accumulates 12 violation points over the course of a year will have all on-base driving privileges revoked.

More than 30 tickets for the offense have been issued in the last 60 days and violators will continue to receive citations. The only exception to the rule is the use of hands-free devices, such as a Bluetooth, headset or speakerphone unit, which allow drivers to keep their attention on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most crashes involve a relatively unique set of circumstances that make precise calculations of risk for engaging in different behaviors very difficult. Thus, the available research does not provide a definitive answer as to which behavior is riskier. However, they all show elevated risk (or poorer driving performance) when the driver is distracted.

The available research indicates that cell phone use while driving, whether it is a hands-free or hand-held device, degrades a driver's performance. The driver is more likely to miss key visual and audio cues needed to avoid a crash. Hand-held devices may be slightly worse, but hands-free devices are not risk-free.

The ban on the use of cell phones while driving falls under the Maxwell supplement of Air Force instruction 31-204, the vehicle traffic supervision instruction, and drivers who are stopped for that offense can also be issued citations for other violations, such as reckless driving or not wearing a seat belt. The regulation is not meant to inconvenience drivers on the base but to help keep the roads, and all drivers, safe.

Maxwell-Gunter was one of the first Air Education and Training Command bases to institute cell phone restrictions. The restrictions have now been adopted by all AETC bases.

For more information, contact the Base Defense Operations Center at 953-7222.

Article courtesy of the 42nd Security Forces Squardron

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