If you think that drivers are going faster aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville lately, you are not mistaken. Speeding infractions are up significantly through the first part of 2018.
NAS Jacksonville security officers issued 83 citations for moving violations in May, and have already issued 48 for the first week of June.
“In the past month, we have seen a sharp increase in speeding violations on the base,” said NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Connor. “We are seeing speeds in excess of 10 and 20 mph over the posted speed limit, even in areas such as housing where children are present, so obviously we are very concerned.”
NAS Jacksonville always has a large number of pedestrians along the roadways, but summer months bring an increase in the number of children and families out walking.
“We have a big housing area. It’s also summer time and the youth center is packed, we have a lot of kids on the base,” said Ron Williamson, safety manager for NAS Jacksonville. “We want everybody to just calm down a little bit and drive sensibly.”
Glenn Williams, deputy director of security for NAS Jacksonville, identified several heavily travelled intersections on base as critical, including Birmingham and Allegheny, Yorktown and Allegheny, Yorktown and Wasp, and Child and Birmingham. “We also have the two lane changes a day on Yorktown and Birmingham, which affect our traffic pattern and cause driving issues,” he said.
Under direction of the commanding officer, the security department is adding extra patrols to get the traffic violations under control.
“We are going to be stepping up our actions to enforce the speed limit,” Connor said.
“We are looking to increase our enforcement actions and we are looking to partner with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and some other options to try to increase the severity of the penalty.”
A new roadside speed awareness indicator has also been purchased by the security department and will be deployed soon. The monitor will display the speed motorists are traveling, and it will also have the capability of tracking the number of speeding violations.
Anyone getting a moving violation aboard NAS Jacksonville will have to complete a driving class to maintain their base driving privilege.
Violations include speeding, cell phone use while driving, rolling through a stop sign and running a red light.
“If you receive a moving violation, you have 60 days to either take a class that we offer at the safety office or go online and take a class, but you need to bring proof that you completed a traffic safety class,” Williamson said.
“If you have not completed a class after 60 days, you are either going to get a letter saying your driving privileges are revoked or you are going to come up to the gate, and if they scan your CAC card, you will not be allowed to enter the installation.”
The NAS Jacksonville Safety Office offers free driving safety courses three or four times a month on weekdays, as well as offering a monthly Saturday class.
The capacity for the course is 35 students per class. For more information on the class and schedule availability, call 542-3082.
“So far, we have been fortunate that no one has been injured or hurt,” Connor said.
“But it is a only a matter of time before someone is hurt with people driving that fast.”