Wing CC updates seat belt, cell phone policy

  • Published
  • By Col. Sandy Finan
  • 341st Space Wing commander
Each year, thousands of people are injured or killed in car accidents. Two of the easiest actions you can take to improve safety and mitigate risk while driving take less than a few seconds to achieve. When put into practice, they are proven to prevent accidents and save lives...buckling your seat belt and putting down the cell phone while driving. 

Wearing a seat belt is the safest decision anyone can make while in a vehicle and it's the law. More importantly, it will save your life. Make a conscious effort each time you sit behind the wheel to buckle up and to ensure passengers do the same. While you're at it, be sure any child car seats are properly installed according to the manufacturer's specifications. 

Those who fail to wear their seat belt are in violation of Air Force Instruction and Montana State Law. It's also the driver's responsibility to ensure that passengers buckle up. Because seatbelts can make the difference between living and dying, failure to comply with these instructions will result in base driving privileges being suspended. 

The first violation of this policy will result in a 30-day suspension, the second a 90-day suspension and the third a 120-day suspension. 

I'd also like to remind everyone that using your cell phone without a hands-free device while driving on Malmstrom is prohibited. Cell phone use is also restricted to hands-free devices while driving government vehicles on- or off-base. The objective of the policy is not to create a hardship but to create a safe environment for all. I am sure everyone has seen multiple examples of people driving with a cell phone stuck to their ear...not paying attention to other cars, pedestrians or anything else but the phone conversation. Please don't let yourself fall victim to this hazard. 

Each violation of the cell phone policy will result in the loss of three points. Any individual who accumulates 12 points will lose their driving privileges for a minimum of six months. Violations will also result in base driving privileges being suspended on each occasion; the first for 10 days, the second 30 days and the third 60 days. 

If you need to use the phone while driving, you must use a hands-free device. Use of other portable devices such as headphones, earphones or other listening devices is also prohibited. 

Next time the phone rings while you're driving, make the safe decision and wait to answer, or pull over to a safe place before putting yourself in harm's way.
Summer has arrived and many team Malmstrom members have plans to take trips out of town or to simply find out what there is to do in the local area. It's a time to spend with friends and family but we can't forget it's also a time to make safe decisions. Take some time to spend with your family or friends and continue to demonstrate why this is the best wing in the Air Force. 

I ask that you continue to make safety a part of your daily lives. Practice proper operational risk management, inform someone of your plans and always have a wingman. If you have any questions about driving safety please contact the safety office at 731-6724. 

I am proud to stand side-by-side with each of you in the defense of this great Nation. Let's keep up the impressive work we do here at Malmstrom and continue to make the good decisions daily.