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Drivers must follow Air Force requirements when operating a vehicle on Arnold Air Force Base

: Cynthia Bevel, AEDC employee at Arnold Air Force Base, demonstrates seatbelt safety by buckling in before driving on base. As outlined in Air Force Instruction 91-207, it is mandatory for anyone driving on a military installation to be wearing his or her seatbelt. (U.S. Air Force photo/Deidre Ortiz)

Cynthia Bevel, AEDC employee at Arnold Air Force Base, demonstrates seatbelt safety by buckling in before driving on base. As outlined in Air Force Instruction 91-207, it is mandatory for anyone driving on a military installation to be wearing his or her seatbelt. (U.S. Air Force photo/Deidre Ortiz)

: Cynthia Bevel, AEDC employee at Arnold Air Force Base, demonstrates seatbelt safety by buckling in before driving on base. As outlined in Air Force Instruction 91-207, it is mandatory for anyone driving on a military installation to be wearing his or her seatbelt. (U.S. Air Force photo/Deidre Ortiz)

Cynthia Bevel, AEDC employee at Arnold Air Force Base, demonstrates seatbelt safety by buckling in before driving on base. As outlined in Air Force Instruction 91-207, it is mandatory for anyone driving on a military installation to be wearing his or her seatbelt. (U.S. Air Force photo/Deidre Ortiz)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- Drivers are required to follow Air Force guidelines when operating a motor vehicle on Arnold Air Force Base.

Air Force Instruction 91-207 “implements Air Force Policy Directive (AFPD) 91-2, Safety Programs, and the guidance portion of Department of Defense Instruction (DODI) 6055.04, DoD Traffic Safety Program. The Traffic Safety Program’s goal is to prevent or reduce the frequency and severity of vehicular mishaps involving Air Force (AF) and Air National Guard (ANG) personnel, equipment and operations. This instruction applies to all persons on Air Force installations, Air National Guard (ANG) installations, Air Force Reserve (USAFR) installations and AF-controlled installations, hereafter referred to as AF installations, and to all persons operating a motor vehicle conducting official duties off of an AF installation.”

Section 3.5 of AFI 91-207 focuses on Operator and Passenger Protection, and a main portion of this section outlines the requirements on seat belt safety.

David Dawkins, a Safety, Health and Environmental employee at Arnold AFB, explained similar to steel-toed shoes being mandatory when doing work in the industrial areas on base, seat belts are always a requirement when driving on the Complex.

“The Air Force guidance states that anyone operating or riding in a motor vehicle on a military installation are required to use seat belts or the proper restraint systems,” he said. “If the vehicle we’re operating has seatbelts, we need to be using them and wearing them correctly.”
The only exceptions for seatbelts, from the information provided in AFI 91-207, section 3.5.1.1, are vehicles that are “not designated for seat belts such as buses, some off-road motor vehicles, combat/tactical vehicles not designed with belts or vehicles with a manufactured year of 1966 or earlier. Nothing in this section will require seat belt installation into these vehicles unless mandated by applicable host nation, state or territory laws. Occupants are required to wear seat belts if they have been installed in the vehicle.”

Therefore, it is the vehicle operator’s responsibility to ensure that passengers are wearing their seat belts and that children are in their safety seats or have the necessary personal protection equipment.
Another requirement outlined in the AFI is that cell phone usage is prohibited at any time while operating a motor vehicle.

Section 3.3.1 states, “Operators of motor vehicles on an AF installation will not use hand-held electronic devices unless the vehicle is safely parked. All drivers must comply with applicable federal, state, local and host nation laws that are more stringent than this guidance regarding distractions while driving (e.g. using cellular phones, text messaging).”
According to Nick Edwards, AEDC Chief of Security Forces at Arnold AFB, following these requirements is important for everyone’s safety and not doing so can have unfortunate consequences.

“In addition to the obvious safety concerns regarding distractions while operating a vehicle, personnel should also be cognizant of ramifications stemming from failure to follow established prohibitions such as speeding, texting or using a handheld device while driving on a military installation,” Edwards said. “Military members could be in violation of Article 92, Uniformed Code of Military Justice and violations by civilian employees could result in disciplinary actions including potential revocation of on-base driving privileges.

“If you must take a call, please use a hands free device or pull over and safely park your vehicle on the side of the road. Operating a motor vehicle is a huge responsibility that we must all take seriously.”

To view AFI 91-207 on The U.S. Air Force Traffic Safety Program in its entirety, visit http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/ and view the Air Force publications under Safety.