A Sailor driving 65 mph in a 40 mph zone, a motorist speeding through the housing area school zone, even a family member with a small child driving 40 mph in a 25 mph zone were just a few examples of the type of speeding problems that has been running rampant at Kings Bay during the last couple of months.
Penalties for more than 53 speeding violations and driving suspensions (only 21 showed up in court) were handed out during a traffic court hearing at the Navy Legal Service Office Courtroom March 22. Sailors who violated the speeding laws will also receive extra military training and had to be represented by a member of their command when the penalties were handed out. According to NSB Kings Bay Administrative Officer and Traffic Court Judge Lt. Will Park, all of this missed work time and possible loss of base driving privileges can be avoided if people perform a simple task: obey the postedspeed limits.
"The speed limit is posted everywhere on base and everyone needs to obey the posted limit or come see me in court," he said. "If the individual is military, I want their chain of command to become involved to hold the individual accountable for their actions. I recommend the violator to provide training to their division about driving safety on base."
Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidental death in both military and civilian communities. Although the speeding problem has not resulted in any known car accidents or deaths at Kings Bay, the threat is always there if people don't obey the speed limits.
"Speeding is the biggest violation on base," said Kings Bay Safety Office Recreational Officer Russ Prothero. "We have gotten into a society where rules don't mean a whole lot."
The location where most of the violations occur is the housing area. Ever since the school year started, there has been no school crossing guards, but a traffic light allowing the children to cross safely toward Crooked River Elementary School. The speed limit was lowered from 35 mph to 25 mph when the lights were installed.
Housing residents let their voices be heard about speeding in the housing area during a town meeting a few months ago. The base laws will hopefully help curb the problem and get the word across about how dangerous speeding can be.
Anyone caught speeding will be issued a citation, which will take two points from your driving privileges of 12 points. If they are more than 11 mph over the posted limit, four points are assessed and the driver must attend a four-hour driving safety class.
During the court proceedings, 89 points were taken from 21 drivers and three six-month suspensions were handed out. One individual lost 11 points.
According to Parks, repeat offenders are on the decline, but speeding is still a problem. The threat of losing driving privileges on base could help get the message.
"If a person loses their driving privileges , the onus comes on the member to get to work. If they work on the lower base they will have to rely on the shuttle, getting a ride from a friend or their chief or leading petty officer," Parks said.
"It was the individual's choice to speed and by doing this it causes stress for the military member, his family and workplace."