Is saving thirty seconds worth a ticket, or even a life?
By Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli, 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 12, 2013
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
Whether it's going five miles over the speed limit to get to work on time or racing to the Commissary before it closes, many people can admit to speeding at some point. While it is a common and seemingly harmless occurrence on the roads at Incirlik, it's a serious offense - especially in the housing area.
Both the 39th Security Forces Squadron and concerned community members have noticed a spike in motorists exceeding the 25 kilometers, or 15 miles per hour, speed limit in housing areas. This violation poses a threat to all residents in the area, and could cause serious injury or death for unsuspecting children at play.
"Driving here on Incirlik is a privilege, so people shouldn't abuse it," said Senior Airman Aaron Hyde, 39th Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of reports and analysis. "Yes, it might seem like the speed limit is slow; but, it's in place for the safety of base personnel and families."
Though exceeding the speed limit is against the law anywhere, in base housing areas the consequences are far more severe because children could be run over causing injury or even death. Regulations are strictly enforced by both U.S. and Turkish security forces. Speeding on base will cause three points to be added to the violator's license. If a member get 12 points in a 12 month period, their license will be suspended for up to six months. In housing, speeding may not be the only ticket issued.
"Members can be ticketed for reckless driving in housing. However, this violation is worth six points," Hyde said.
Some Airmen in the community are doing their part to help maintain safety around the base while also encouraging others to do the same.
"I'm the guy no one wants to follow because I come to a complete stop at every stop sign. I stop for pedestrians, and I normally keep my speed under the limit," said Master Sgt. Dustin Barnes, 39th Force Support Squadron manpower and organization superintendent. "Plus, with the added focus on speeding right now, I know our security forces folks are keeping a sharp eye out for speeders. Everyone needs to do their part, and that's something I tell people all the time."
Though the 39th SFS enforces traffic laws here, it's up to all base motorists to have the integrity to follow them.
"It's important that residents control their speed while in housing," said Barnes. "As residents we have a responsibility to the community to ensure safe living areas, and that includes our driving."
Safety is vital in protecting base members and their families. It comes down to self discipline, said Tech. Sgt. Bilma Romero, 39th Air Base Wing NCO in charge of mishap investigations. Knowing where family housing areas are and that there may be kids at play is vital to the safety of Incirlik members.
"As soon as we cross that first speed bump, that should be our automatic indicator that we're in housing and should slow down," said Romero.
However, there are some housing areas where speed bumps are yet to be installed such as Gaziantep Street on the outer perimeter of Eagle housing.
Summer is approaching, and people tend to spend more time outdoors. Drivers on Incirlik must keep their speed under 25 KPH while in housing to help decrease the chance of an accident. Community members are encouraged to report violators to security forces.
"We have to keep our neighborhoods safe. We are a very small installation, and if somebody sees a vehicle flying by it's ok to get their (license plate) number and inform security forces," said Romero. "Sometimes they just need a warning that they are going too fast."
It is up to everyone on base to keep people safe, know the limits and slow down. To report violators, call the 39th SFS at DSN 676-3200.