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Home : News : News
NEWS | Aug. 20, 2014

Start of school prompts caution from security forces

By Robert Goetz Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

With the start of the new school year just days away, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph security forces and safety officials are urging motorists to be mindful of school zone speed limits, buses transporting children, and students walking or riding their bicycles to and from school.


The speed limit in the vicinity of Randolph Elementary School and the Randolph Middle School and High School complex is 15 miles per hour at all times, security forces officers said, and violations of that speed limit result in the accrual of points that can lead to the revocation of base driving privileges. Civilian offenders are also subject to fines.


"The point system is used for all traffic violations on base, including speeding," Staff Sgt. Larry Holmes, 902nd Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of police services, said. "With 12 points within a 12-month period, the installation commander may suspend or revoke driving privileges if they deem it necessary."


Just one violation of one mile per hour to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit equals three points, and the point scale escalates in five-mph increments until reaching 26 or more mph over the speed limit, which results in 12 points.


Master Sgt. Samuel Figueroa, 902nd SFS operations superintendent, said maintaining a 15-mph speed in school zones at all times conditions motorists.


"It becomes a norm for motorists," he said. "It's a good deterrent."


Other deterrents to speeding are the placement of speed display carts in school zones and the presence of security forces officers at random times, Figueroa said.


Following or approaching school buses loading and unloading students is another consideration for motorists.


"Motorists must stop for all school buses loading and unloading passengers," Holmes said. "Failure to stop will incur a $135 fine and a four-point penalty."


Motorists should be especially aware of children who walk or ride their bikes.


"Motorists should drive cautiously at all times when they're near children who are riding bicycles or walking to and from school," Holmes said. "Be aware of bicyclists' hand and arm signals and be wary of sudden deviations from their current paths due to inattentiveness, horseplay or bicycle malfunction."


Staff Sgt. Gary Lund, 502nd Air Base Wing ground safety technician, offered advice for students who ride their bicycles to and from school.


"Children should always ride on the right side of the road or in a bike lane when available, and they should stay alert for traffic and never cut off any vehicles," he said.


Bicyclists should follow all traffic signs and signals, stopping at all stop signs, and use hand turn signals, Lund said.


His other words of advice to bicyclists are to walk their bikes when going across the street, preferably using a crosswalk, and to never ride their bikes on a sidewalk or walkway.


"If a bicycle needs to go onto a sidewalk or walkway, walk it," Lund said.

Holmes, who provides education outreach as part of his duties, said parents should teach their children who ride bicycles to wear personal protective equipment and to keep their bikes maintained.


He said children who walk to and from school should use crosswalks and sidewalks when available and look both ways when crossing the street.


Figueroa said motorists are required to stop for pedestrians using marked crosswalks and should pay close attention to children and other pedestrians who are not using crosswalks when they cross the street.


He also cautioned motorists to drive carefully through housing areas and in the vicinity of the youth center and the child development centers.


For more information, call 652-1645.