VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
All vehicle operators on base take heed: failure to wear your seatbelt, texting or using a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving may earn you 30 days of bumming rides to work.
Col. Richard Boltz, 30th Space Wing commander, signed a policy letter Aug. 24 regarding safe motor vehicle operations for all military, civilians, contractors and military dependents driving on Vandenberg.
In short, the policy letter states that vehicle operators will not talk on cell phones while the vehicle is in motion unless they are using a hands-free device or hands-free operating mode. In addition, vehicle operators will not use any text messaging devices while the vehicle is in operation, and all operators and passengers must wear seat belts.
"Cell phone in one hand--ticket in the other. The message is simple here: put it down and concentrate on the road," said Colonel Boltz. "It's the right thing to do not just for your own safety, but the safety of others as well."
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, in 2008 nearly 6,000 people died and more than a half million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
Repercussions under the new policy include up to a 30-day revocation of driving privileges on the first offense, up to six months on the second offense within a year, and up to a year on the third offense within in a year.
"We are going to enforce the law," said Master Sgt. Timothy Miller, 30th Security Forces Squadron NCO-in-charge of training. "Special patrols will be formed enforcing driving laws during peak traffic hours."
To read the new VAFB driving policy letter, click here
To review the Executive Order dated Oct. 1, 2009, related to texting while driving, click here