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Traffic violations lead to stiff penalties on Fort Knox

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By ANDREW CRITCHELOW

If a Department of the Army civilian is pulled over on Fort Knox, they may have “points” added to their record.

Army Regulation 190-5 covers motor vehicle traffic supervision which includes a “point system.” The regulation captures traffic violations and assesses points for each cited offense. When added up, these points can lead to consequences including revocation of on-post driving privileges.

Lt. Col. Edgar Otalora, director of Fort Knox’s Directorate of Emergency Services, said though the system has always been part of regulatory guidance, it has not previously been actively enforced on the installation.

“This program highlights those individual drivers who are unsafe and habitual offenders,” Otalora said.

The amount of points ascribed to each traffic violation can vary based on the severity of the violation. Vio-lations points range from one to six.

Violations worth six points include reckless driving, driving under the influence, speeding 20 miles or more over the posted speed limit, fleeing the scene of property damage, willingly permitting a physically impaired person to operate a vehicle and participating in speed contests. Driving over 15 mph but less than 20 mph over the posted speed limit is worth five points.

Violations worth four points include driving over 10 but less than 15 mph over the posted speed limit, following too close, failure to yield right of way to emergency vehicles, failure to stop to school buses or school-crossing signals, failure to obey traffic signals, improper passing and failure to yield when no official sign is involved.

Violations worth three points include driving one to 10 mph over the posted speed limit, improper turning movements, wearing earbuds/headphones while driving, failure to wear an approved helmet or reflective vest when operating or riding on a motorcycle or related vehicle, improper overtaking and other moving violations. Operating an unsafe vehicle, driving too fast or slow for conditions, failure to use proper restraint systems and failure to properly restrain children are all worth two points.

An additional one point is added to specific offenses when a driver involved in an accident is deemed responsible.

“It is not difficult to accumulate points if you are an unsafe driver,” Otalora said.

Otalora said receiving 12 or more points within a consecutive 12-month period will lead to revocation. Eighteen or more points in a consecutive 24-month period will also warrant a revocation, he said.

In addition, more than six but less than 12 points within a six-month consecutive period will lead to counseling or a driver improvement interview, according to AR 190-5.

Otalora said prior to any license suspension, The Department of Emergency Services will send out a letter notifying individuals and their chain of command of the accumulative points.

According to AR 190-5, any point-based suspension must be at least six months in length. The suspension may be longer based on factors such as the person’s frequency and flagrancy of violations. Upon reinstating privileges, those suspended must first pass a remedial driving training course.

Otalora said enforcing this
regulation is in pursuit of making travel on Fort Knox a safer experience.

“It is imperative to emphasize safety for our community, for those who live, work and play on Fort Knox,” said Otalora. n