The last thing a motorist wants to see in his or her rear view mirror is flashing blue lights.
Cell phone use while driving aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany is one of those infractions, which will cause the police to issue a ticket followed by a summons to traffic court.
“In accordance with Base Order (BO P5560.9D), if you’re going to use a cell phone while driving it has to be hands free,” Donnie Baggs, traffic court officer, MCLB Albany, said.
For drivers who must use cell phones while driving on base, there are a few ways they can be used, Baggs added.
Put the phone on speaker and set it down or have a Bluetooth device in your ear, but do not have the cell phone in your hand, he recommended.
“The best way to use your cell phone while driving on base is to pull over into a safe place, like a parking lot,” Lt. William Womble, chief traffic investigator, Marine Corps Police Department, MCLB Albany, said.
Driving with one hand on a steering wheel and the other hand with a cell phone in it is very unsafe, Baggs added.
Using a cell phone while driving decreases the ability to concentrate, a person’s reaction time and affects proper judgment, according to Womble.
“You become more dangerous during or after a phone call because you are not focused on driving,” Womble said.
When a person is caught using his or her cell phone while driving on base, he or she is issued a citation with a mandatory court date, Womble said.
When in court Baggs will determine the punishment of the traffic offender, Womble continued.
Cell phone violation punishments include, but are not limited to, suspending driving on base, attending an attitudinal dynamics driving course and adding points to a person’s driving record, Baggs said.
Each traffic violation is worth a certain amount of points, Baggs said.
Cell phone use is worth two points to a person’s base driving record.
If an individual obtains 12 points within 12 months, he or she will lose his or her driving privileges on base for six months, he said.
“Safety is the whole reason we have traffic court,” Baggs said. “We want it to be a learning experience and we hope not to see offenders again.”
For more information about traffic court dates, call 229-639-6244 or cell phone usage on base, call 229-639-5181.