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By Air Force Print News & Keesler News staff        Filed 3/17/06  GCN

Keesler is following Air Force guidance concerning the use of cell phones while driving and violators could get fined or be assessed points against their driving records.

Drivers are not allowed to talk on their cell phones while driving on Air Force installations without a hands free device. The policy is part of the Department of Defense's Joint Traffic Guidance.

This restriction also applies to all government owned vehicles at all times. No GOV drivers are permitted to talk on a cell phone while driving without a hands-free device on or off base.

Joint Traffic Regulation, Air Force Instruction 31-218 (I), Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, will restrict the use of cell phones while driving. Only cell phones with hands-free devices will be allowed for use by drivers. This guidance also allows the Air Force to use portable breath screening devices as long as they conform to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards.

The Defense Department's joint traffic document states: "Vehicle operators on a DOD Installation and operators of GOV's shall not use cell phones unless the vehicle is safely parked or unless they are using a hands-free device.

"The wearing of any other portable headphones, earphones or other listening devices (except for hand-free cellular phones) while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited. Use of those devices impairs driving and masks or prevents recognition of emergency signals, alarms, announcements, the approach of vehicles, and human speech. DOD component safety guidance should note the potential for driver distractions such as eating and drinking, operating radios, CD players, global positioning equipment, etc. Whenever possible this should only be done when the vehicle is safely parked."

Using a cell phone while driving without a hands-free device will be considered a primary offense.  This means violators will be able to be stopped solely for this offense.

Drivers who violate this cell phone driving restriction will be given three assessment points against their driving records or an appropriate fine. Drivers should be aware that if two or more violations are committed, even on a single occasion, a ticket may be given to the driver for each violation.

For more information, call 377-3762

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