Summer base-safety policies outlined|
Posted 6/8/2012 Updated 6/8/2012
by 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs Office
6/8/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- It's that time of year again - the time when children get out of school, the weather turns warmer, the days become longer and outdoor activities become more prevalent. The information below outlines Malmstrom Air Force Base policies and procedures to keep everyone safe this season.
Base housing street safety
During the summer, children and parents usually become more active outdoors riding bicycles, skateboards and in-line skates. This means motorist need to be obeying posted signs and looking out for playing children.
All personnel, including military members, their families, contractors and retirees, who ride bicycles on an Air Force installation must wear properly fastened and approved (e.g., Consumer Product Safety Commission, American National Standards Institute or Snell Memorial Foundation) bicycle helmets.
In addition to bicycles, all personnel must wear approved helmets when in-line skating, skateboarding, or operating lightweight, motorized or foot-propelled scooters.
"These skates, skateboards and scooters (motorized or not) are prohibited on installation roadways except for incidental road access associated with pedestrians," said Tech. Sgt. Heather Geer, 341st Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of police services. "We recommend anyone enjoying these methods of recreation wear elbow and knee pads to prevent serious injuries. All personnel must comply with all pedestrian-related traffic laws."
All motorists are reminded that the speed limit in base housing is 15 mph, unless a 10 mph speed limit sign is posted. The speed limit is set low to ensure the safety of children playing near roadways.
"Small children will often run out in the street chasing after their toys and not look to ensure the street is clear first," Geer said. "We, as motorists, have a responsibility to be constantly vigilant for children playing, using self propelled vehicles or crossing the street to ensure their safety."
It's sometimes common for parents to extend their children's curfew during the summer; however, Malmstrom has a base curfew that shouldn't go overlooked.
The base curfew for those under the age of 18 is 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sundays through Thursdays during the Great Falls High school year. Fridays, Saturdays and during the summer, the curfew is midnight to 6 a.m.
"Parents are allowed to grant extended-curfew hours to minor family members," Geer said. "This should be done in writing and must be carried by the minor."
The extended-curfew permission slip must include the parent's name, rank, unit, home address and telephone number; as well as the name and age of the minor family member. In addition, the permission slip must have the date, specific event, extended time limit, and any other unique information that will assist the family member in entering or transiting the installation.
At no time will minor family members be allowed in or near dormitories, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Research has shown that in Montana, when lap or shoulder seat belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury is reduced by 65 percent.
"In recent months, there has been a significant increase in the number of people not wearing seatbelts while driving on the installation," Geer said. "Additionally, there has been an increase in using cell phones without a hands-free device while driving. In some cases, individuals have been seen violating both policies simultaneously."
A hands-free device is an apparatus used with cell phones that permits the user to talk on the phone without holding it. Any device that allows a cell phone user to communicate without holding it is acceptable. An example is Bluetooth technology. Placing the phone in "speaker phone" mode is also acceptable as long as the user is not holding the phone and both hands are free to operate the vehicle. This does not allow Airmen to hold the speaker up to their faces for better clarity.
Failure to use restraint devices, talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device, or texting while driving are all violations of the 341st Missile Wing Supplement to Air Force Manual 31-116, Air Force Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, and President Obama's Executive Order dated Oct. 1, 2009. In President Obama's Executive Order, he states "Recent deadly crashes involving drivers distracted by text messaging while behind the wheel highlight a growing danger on our roads. Text messaging causes drivers to take their eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel, endangering both themselves and others."
"All violations [of these resources] will result in the loss of base driving privileges," Geer said. "The duration of privilege suspensions increase with each violation and could result in the permanent loss of driving privileges on the installation."
Per the 341st MW Supplement to AFMAN 31-116, a member's first seatbelt violation will result in a written warning. A second violation will result in 30 days of suspended driving privileges and a third violation requires 60 days of walking. Each occurrence will result in four points on an Airman's on-base driving record.
Under the same guidance, Airmen seen driving and using their cell phone on base without a hands-free device will receive 10 days of suspended driving privileges on the first occurrence. A second violation will result in a 30-day suspension and 60 days for a third violation. In addition, the member will receive four points on their driving record for each occurrence. In accordance with Air Force Instruction 31-204, Air Force Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, if an Airman accumulates 12 points on their driving record in a one-year period, their driving privileges on base will be suspended for six months.
"Due to an increase of individuals reporting violations, the security forces, in conjunction with wing safety, will be increasing selective enforcement activities," Geer said. "Any individual in violation will be cited and issued a temporary driving suspension letter on the spot as appropriate."
Dependents or civilian personnel, who receive a DD Form 1408, Armed Forces Traffic Ticket, will be reported to their sponsor's first sergeant or commander. The sponsor is responsible for contacting their first sergeant or commander within 24 hours or the next duty-day after the violation.
Following these policies will help ensure all Team Malmstrom members have a safe, productive and fun summer.
Any questions regarding Malmstrom policies may be directed to the 341st SFS Police Services Section at 731-4958. To report any violations, contact the Base Defense Operation Center at 731-3895.