New traffic enforcement campaign begins

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Buckle up, no cell phones, stop signs and maintain safe speeds.

These are the four traffic safety tenets, Team Eglin’s employees and residents will need to pay closer attention to very soon.  Eglin Main supports over 15,000 vehicles transiting through the gates each day.  On the base, there were 209 vehicle accidents, 35 resulted in injury or disabling damage, three resulted in fatalities, and 1,532 traffic citations issued in 2016.

In light of those statistics, Eglin AFB Supplement to AFI 31-218, Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, was recently updated to include a new zero tolerance policy applied to seatbelts, cell phone usage, child restraint systems and base housing/school zone speeding violations.  The policy includes other hazardous driving practices in an attempt to curb unsafe driving habits occurring here.

Penalties for certain traffic offenses such as cell phone use (to include holding/touching a phone while on the road) and seatbelt violations increase with each subsequent offense.  For example, someone’s first offense results in a seven-day driving suspension, second offense a 30-day suspension and the third is a six-month suspension.

These changes apply to all of Eglin to include Duke Field, 7th Special Forces Group, Navy School EOD and the 6th Ranger Training Battalion.

“After a review of the 2016 statistics, base leadership approved the 96th Security Forces Squadron to conduct an aggressive approach to reducing these alarming numbers in conjunction with the new traffic enforcement supplement,” said Capt. Joshua Hight, 96th SFS Operations Officer.

The 96th Security Forces Squadron will begin rolling out a large-scale traffic enforcement campaign focusing on those areas with the intent to mitigate future accidents and safety issues.

Beginning soon and continuing for the foreseeable future, this campaign will use randomized surveillance methods and an overwhelming number of patrols to enforce the base’s “rules of the road.”  Patrolmen will be discouraged from issuing warnings, but urged to issue citations for various traffic offenses.

“The intent of this tactic is to shock the public with an overwhelming force of patrols in order to gain attention and shed light on the seriousness of this campaign,” said the captain.

The new enforcement strategy seeks to curb accidents and violations while educating drivers on base traffic safety.  The sole intent is to make our roads safer.

“This new strategy is all about making Eglin’s roads safer for everyone,” said Hight.

The zero tolerance memorandum can be viewed at the link.

Here are the speed limits for various base areas:

Unless otherwise posted or specified herein, the maximum speed on Eglin is 25 mph.

Four-lane paved roads: 45 mph unless otherwise posted.

Entrance to Eglin gates: 5 mph unless otherwise posted.

Housing areas: 20 mph unless otherwise posted.

Paved range roads: 45 mph unless otherwise posted.

Sand or clay roads: 35 mph unless otherwise posted.

Parking areas: 10 mph.

Housing area cul-de-sacs: 5 mph.

School zones: 20 mph during school hours, when crossing guards are posted, or when school yellow caution lights are flashing.

Passing military formations: 10 mph.