Commander outlines seat belt usage policy

  • Published
  • By Col. Sandy Finan
  • 341st Space Wing commander
Protecting our resources is everyone's responsibility and Team Malmstroms' number one resource is our personnel. On average, 100 people still die daily in the United States because they didn't wear their seatbelts; the average in Montana is one death every three days.

I'm proud to say we have made significant progress in reducing the number of vehicles on base being operated without restraint devices. But, there is still that small percentage yet to get the message "seat belts save lives." I hope we reach those people before they are injured or worse. 

Motor vehicle operators and passengers on Malmstrom AFB that fail to wear their seat belts are in direct violation of DoDI 605.4 and AFI 91-207, 341 SWI 24-301, and Montana State Law. Those who fail to comply with restraint device requirements place themselves and other vehicle occupants at a greatly elevated risk for injury or death during an accident. The following policy will be actively enforced: 
 The operator of a motor vehicle is responsible for ensuring all vehicle occupants properly use appropriate restraining devices while the vehicle is in motion. 
 Operators are directly responsible for ensuring all passengers comply with this policy prior to the vehicle being placed in motion. 
 Children will be properly secured in a child safety seat or adapted seat belt configuration as appropriate. 

Violations of this policy will result in suspended base driving privileges: 

First Violation: Base driving privileges suspended for 10 days 

Second Violation: Base driving privileges suspended for 30 days 

Third Violation: Base driving privileges suspended for 90 days 

Members of security forces law enforcement and special base detail teams will be responsible for enforcing this policy. The 341st SFS will issue a DD Form 1408 citations to violators when appropriate. The base detail will conduct random spot checks at various locations across the base each month. When a seat belt violation is identified, a "Notice of Violation" document will be used to inform the violator and the responsible military authority of the incident. 

Each squadron is responsible for administering driving privilege suspension actions for military personnel assigned to their unit. When notified of a violation, squadron commanders will ensure appropriate action is taken against the cited individual(s). 

Family members, contractors and DOD employees who violate this policy will be cited using one of the methods above. The 341st Mission Support Group deputy commander, as the base driving privilege authority, will execute required administrative actions for civilian violators. 

The seriousness of this situation cannot be overstated. When properly used, restraining devices are proven to be a potent method of preventing injuries during vehicle accidents. Bottom line: seat belts and child safety seats save lives - and using them is the law! 

Anyone with questions regarding this policy or who needs additional information can contact the Wing Safety Office in building 500, room 153N, or call them at 731-6726.