JBPHH enacts strict new speeding regulations

Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) is taking steps to keep the base safer by instituting tough new traffic regulations.

Speeders in particular will face stiff penalizes for violating base speed limits. Drivers will be ticketed for going just one mph above the posted limit. Those going eight mph or more above the posted limit will face even harsher consequences: A 30-day suspension of base driving privileges. A second offense will result in a one-year suspension of base driving privileges, and a third will result in a permanent loss of driving privileges.

Speeding remains a key safety concern at JBPHH and throughout the nation. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, one-third of traffic fatalities involve speeding.

In Hawaii, traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death by injury, according to the state Department of Health. On average, one person dies on Hawaii’s roads every three days, and about 28 people are injured in traffic crashes on a daily basis. Speed remains the most common factor in traffic fatalities.

Despite this, drivers continue to speed.

“In the last 10 days, the JBPHH department has issued over 150 speeding tickets,” said Christopher D.E. Hurst, senior master sergeant, USAF JB23 Operations Superintendent. “In the last six months, the security department has issued 53 tickets for going 15 miles over the posted speed limit.”

Drivers on JBPHH going eight or more mph above the posted speed limit will now have their base driving privileges revoked for 30 days on the first offense.

Excessive speeding is not the only traffic violation that can now result in a suspension of base driving privileges.

For example, distracted drivers will also face tough sanctions. Utilizing a cell phone or other portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited on base. Factory installed Blue-tooth systems that operate through the speaker system of the vehicle are authorized.

Using GPS systems can be risky as well.

“Operating a GPS while driving can constitute as distracted driving,” said Hurst. “It is recommended personnel have their location inputted prior to driving. If a change of location is needed, the driver should legally park and input the change.”

The revised base traffic regulations reflect continuingeffortstomakeJBPHH safer.

“Safety is a high priority. We have a very high density of pedestrians and vehicles on base,” said Capt. Jeffrey James, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. “We have lots of Airmen, Sailors, civilians and their families out and about, walking and driving.”

“The driving factor behind the change in policy is the security department discovered there was an apparent hazard to public safety (such as speeding, driving while talking in cell phone, not wearing seatbelts) and therefore felt it needed to act in an aggressive manner to emphasize failure to obey the base traffic regulation will not be tolerated,” said Hurst.

Updated regulations and sanctions

In a concerted effort to improve safety for the base population, substantive changes to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam traffic regulations have been made.

Effective immediately, the following offenses will result in serious sanctions:

* Failure of operator or occupants to use restraint devices such as seatbelts in a motor vehicle.
* Failure to properly restrain children in a child restraint system in a motor vehicle.
* Excessive speeding (eight mph or greater above posted speed limit).
* Failure to wear required personal protective equipment (PPE) while operating or riding a motorcycle.
* Permitting an unlicensed person to operate a motor vehicle.
* Utilizing a cell phone or other portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.
* Reckless driving.

Sanctions will be imposed immediately and include:

* 1st offense – 30-day suspension of base driving privileges.
* 2nd offense – One-year suspension of base driving privileges.
* 3rd offense – Permanent suspension of base driving privileges.

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Category: News