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SFS reminds base patrons to follow installation speed limits

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Speeding has become a significant problem on Vandenberg AFB, especially in the housing area. It is important for everyone to remember that driving on base is a privilege granted by the installation commander and that speeding is unlawful. This article will highlight speed limits, driving suspensions for both military and civilian offenders, the point system used to track repeat offenses, and enforcement measures the 30th Security Forces Squadron will use to promote safety and compliance with law.

The speed limit in housing areas is 25 mph, and the speed limit in school zones is 15 mph. This applies when children are present and (or) there are flashing lights or signs indicating a school zone. The speed limit in all other areas on the installation is 25 mph unless otherwise posted. Speed laws are outlined in 30th Space Wing Instruction 31-204, Installation Rules of the Road and the California Vehicle Code (CVC).

For military members on active duty found speeding in base housing or school zones, numerous consequences may follow. For a military member traveling 10 mph over the speed limit in base housing, or 20 mph over the speed limit anywhere else on the installation, they will automatically receive a seven-day driving suspension and citation. The driver then will receive a DD Form 1408, Armed Forces Traffic Ticket, and will have to go to their respective unit's commander and (or) first sergeant to explain to them why they were speeding. Unit Commanders can also use administrative means to discourage speeding, such as letters of counseling and reprimand or extra duty at the discretion of the unit commander.

For civilians, to include but not limited to dependents, retirees and contactors that are found speeding in housing, they can expect to receive a U.S. District Court Violation Notice for violating 22350, Basic Speed Law, and a forfeited collateral amount of $65 to $125 or even an appearance in Magistrate Court in Santa Barbara. Furthermore, those who speed in a school zone can expect to receive a notice for violating CVC 22358.4, speeding in a school zone, and see fines in excess of $150 or a mandatory appearance in court. Like military drivers, if a civilian is going 10 mph over the speed limit in housing or 20 mph over anywhere else on the installation, they can expect to receive an automatic seven-day driving suspension.

Vandenberg uses a point system that applies to moving violations committed by military and civilian personnel operating U.S. government vehicles on or off the installation, and to military personnel, family members, civilian employees, and all other persons subject to this instruction operating privately owned vehicles on the installation. Different infractions accumulate points and if a member accumulates 12 traffic points within 12 consecutive months or 18 traffic points within 24 consecutive months, they will be subject to their driving privileges being revoked on Vandenberg Air Force Base. These points do not count against your state license, just your base privileges.

The issue of speeding should not just be a command or Security Forces issue, but should be a safety concern for the entire base population. Taking time to slow down not only helps ensure everyone's safety, it can also save you money or the embarrassment of having to explain your actions to your chain command. Please be mindful of the speed limits on base and pay attention while driving. Special enforcement teams have been formed and are sent out on a regular basis to conduct maximum enforcement with a zero tolerance rule in both base housing and school zones. If you have any questions regarding the installation "Rules of the Road" please, call Staff Sgt. Andrew Cox, NCOIC, Police Service at 606-6873.