Speeding problem prompts extra patrol near school bus stop
By Robert Goetz
| Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs | Nov. 25, 2014
John Collins, Randolph Elementary School teacher’s aide, holds a stop sign to allow parents and their children to safely cross the street Nov. 17 at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. The 902nd Security Forces Squadron is stepping up its patrols because of speeding problems that pose safety risks to children boarding school buses. Be alert. Children are unpredictable. Children walking to or from school are usually very comfortable with their surroundings. This makes them more likely to take risks, ignore hazards or fail to look both ways when crossing the street. Drivers are urged to always watch for children crossing traffic lanes, observe school zone speed limits, instructions of crossing guards and use caution when traveling through school zones or near routes used by children. (Photo by children. )
The 902nd Security Forces Squadron is stepping up its patrols because of speeding problems that pose safety risks to children boarding school buses at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert motorists that they are preparing to stop to load or unload children. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign signals to motorists that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off the bus. It is illegal in any state to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children. In addition to this, drivers are urged to always watch for children crossing traffic lanes, observe school zone speed limits, instructions of crossing guards and use caution when traveling through school zones or near routes used by children. (Photo by children. )
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH-Texas —
The 902nd Security Forces Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph is stepping up its patrol effort south of the Taj Mahal on Northwest Drive and Main Circle because of a speeding problem that poses safety risks to children boarding school buses in the vicinity.
In addition to increasing patrols, the 902nd SFS has placed speed-detection carts - trailers that post the speed of oncoming vehicles - at two locations on Main Circle. One is located on Northwest Drive heading into Main Circle for southbound traffic; the other is stationed farther south on Main Circle for northbound vehicles.
"It's been brought to our attention that people have been speeding through that area as they leave Washington Circle and head for Main Circle," Staff Sgt. Larry Holmes, 902nd SFS NCO in charge of police services, said. "We're doing our best to place extra patrols out there."
Holmes said the measures taken by the 902nd SFS are efforts to protect the safety of children who board Randolph Field Independent School District buses on Northwest Drive south of its intersection with C Street West.
"That area has been mandated by our commander as one of the focal points for enforcement on base," Holmes said.
The speeding problem typically occurs between 7-7:30 a.m., "when people are trying to get to work on time," he said.
Holmes said 902nd SFS officers have been ticketing motorists for speeding in that area in recent days and the extra patrols and speed carts seem to be having an effect on drivers' habits.
"People are now paying attention to the rules of the road," he said. "I've also noticed that people react differently when they see speed carts."
Master Sgt. Elmer Smith, 902nd SFS NCO in charge of operations, said speed-detection carts have been placed at other locations as well. Additional measures for traffic enforcement have also been implemented.
He advised motorists at JBSA-Randolph to be mindful of their responsibilities.
"It is important for motorists to hang the phone up and drive the speed limits because, first and foremost, it is the law," Smith said. "All individuals who possess the ability to drive on any Air Force installation have agreed to adhere to all regulations to include Air Force Instruction 31-218 and Air Force Manual 31-116, Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision."
The speed limit on JBSA-Randolph is 25 mph in commercial areas and 15 mph in housing areas, he said. The 15-mph limit also applies to the vicinities of Randolph Elementary School and Randolph Middle/High School.
"Although not every place is marked as others, it is important to know those facts," Smith said. "Another important speed limit to be aware of is 5 mph in parking lots."
Speeding and other traffic violations result in the accrual of points that can lead to the revocation of base driving privileges. Civilian offenders are also subject to fines.
Allana Hemenway, Randolph Elementary School principal, said she appreciates the 902nd SFS' attention to student safety.
"The 902nd SFS has been very helpful and has assisted us with keeping our students safe," she said. "They have provided a visible presence at the school during drop-off and pickup times."
Smith said traffic enforcement is something they're not taking lightly.
"It is our job to protect our Department of Defense members and their families," he said.