Trends continue for Vance moving violation citations

  • Published
  • By David Poe
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
While September historically marks a dip in moving violation tickets at Vance Air Force Base, 71st Security Forces Squadron records show that the types of citations and issue locations remain relatively steady throughout the year.

Data shows that between 2011 and 2014, the 71st SFS issues 55 percent less tickets in September than August. The dip continues through the end of the year as September through December monthly averages are 40 percent less than May through August.

Despite the drop, drivers continue to be most commonly cited for failure to stop or yield at intersections and speeding -- especially in housing areas and school zones.

With 45 stop signs versus 65 yield signs on base, Capt. Carlos Moralejo, the 71st SFS operations officer and a longtime traffic enforcement Airman, said Defenders and civilian officers are especially vigilant in looking for rolling stops or failures to stop.

"People are accustomed to yielding on this base," he said, "so when it comes to a stop sign, especially when people have been yielding for their 10 previous turns, some people don't stop."

Moralejo said anything less than what Oklahoma State Title 47 laws consider a "complete stop" or "cessation of movement" is a citable offense.

With the exception of flightline areas, most Vance traffic laws adhere to Title 47 statutes. 

Most roads on base have 25 mph speed limits. The housing areas and the roads adjacent to the child development center, Plains Pool, Bradley Fitness and Sports Center, and the base gates, are 15 mph zones at all times.

All speed limits on the base are within the purview of the wing commander, who, according to Vance Instruction 31-204, delegates most traffic enforcement oversight to the 71st Mission Support Group commander.

While failures to stop or yield are commonly cited at intersections across the base, 71st SFS records show that Gott Road, which is a 25 mph zone, and the base's 15 mph areas see the most speeding citations.

Since 2011, traffic enforcement patrols have issued approximately 15 citations per month with higher marks in May, June and August (approximately 23 per month) and low averages in November (6.5) and December (4.75.)

Most non-criminal driving violations on base are measured by a points system for military or a fine for civilians and dependents. For example, speeding up to 7 mph over the limit in the base housing areas, the CDC or school areas can be a $45 fine for civilians and dependents or three assessed points for military.

Speeding 8 mph or more over the limit in the same areas can result in a $55 fine, or five assessed points, and a 30-day suspension for military, civilians, and dependents.

Twelve points within 12 months or 18 points within 24 months can result in a six-month suspension or a revocation of base driving privileges.

Moralejo said Vance traffic enforcement will continue to be vigilant to stress the importance of situational awareness while driving on base.

James Kite, the 71st SFS reports and analyses specialist, who tracks all moving violation citations on base, said that on a relatively small installation like Vance, driving hurriedly holds no real benefits and a lot of risk.

"If you drive 25 mph from the front of the base to the back, it'll take two minutes, so there's no need to rush anywhere," he said. "Anything faster than that, all you're doing is putting people in danger."