Week-long emphasis to focus on cell phone, seatbelt use rule violators

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Robert Garner
  • 341st Missile Wing Chief of Safety
The wing commander has designated Jan. 11-15 to be seatbelt and cell phone emphasis week. Why would the wing commander do something like this?

Well, the safety office has been monitoring and tracking improper use of cell phones and poor seatbelt usage on the installation since last April and we have not seen a significant reduction in rule violations.

The trend line on seatbelt non-compliance seems to be going up, not down. In order to influence this in the right direction, we will be conducting the following activities during seatbelt emphasis week:

* First, commanders and supervisors will speak with their personnel about seatbelt and cell phone use compliance. 

* Second, the safety office and base leadership will send out teams to assess seatbelt and cell phone policy compliance across the base.
* And finally, the Security Forces Group will have patrols out ticketing those who fail to comply with seatbelt and cell phone use policy.

As a reminder, AFI 91-207, U.S. Air Force Traffic Safety Program, seat belt and cell phone usage rules apply to:

* All Air Force military personnel at any time, on or off an AF installation.

* All AF civilian personnel, on an AF installation at any time, or in a duty status when off an AF installation.

* All persons in or on an AF-owned or AF-leased/rented motor vehicle.

* All persons at any time on an AF installation. Includes all leased, owned, or privatized property, including housing areas.

AFI 91-207 also requires mandatory wear of seatbelts and no use of cell phones while driving except with a hands free device. In addition, there is a presidential directive that can be viewed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Executive-Order-Federal-Leadership-on-Reducing-Text-Messaging-while-Driving that specifically bans texting while driving.

The wing commander's policy letter banning use of personnel cell phones in government vehicles can also be found on the 341st MW Air Force Portal Web page.
"These seatbelt and cell phone rules exist for a reason," said Col. Michael Fortney, 341st Missile Wing commander. "Plain and simple, distracted and unbuckled drivers claim many Air Force lives each year; we don't want our Airmen and their families among these statistics."