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SFS focuses on safety, driving on base during the summer

SFS focuses on safety, driving on base during the summer

This summer the 28th Security Forces Squadron wants to remind base residents to pay attention to posted speed limits. The posted speed limits provide a safe and reasonable speed to protect drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and the nearly 500 families who reside here. The speed limit for the housing areas is 15 mph, unless otherwise posted. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Denise M. Jenson)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Summer is here, and with the change in season, more of the base populace is outside enjoying the weather -- families are playing, exercising and biking around the installation. With the increase in activity and the summer break from school, the 28th Security Forces Squadron wants to focus on safety and remind Team Ellsworth of the rules for driving on base.

The posted speed limits provide a safe and reasonable speed to protect drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and the nearly 500 families who reside here. The speed limit for the housing areas is 15 mph, unless otherwise posted.

“The 28th SFS has a low tolerance for speeding in housing areas and around the child development and youth centers,” said Senior Master Sgt. Frank, 28th SFS operations superintendent. “Team Ellsworth deserves a safe and friendly environment.”

There are severe penalties for speeding on Ellsworth including, but not limited to, points assessed against a driving record. The number of assessed points for each violation can be found in EAFBI 31-116, Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, Table 5.5A, Point Assessment for Moving Traffic Violations. If a driver is caught driving more than 10 mph over the posted speed limit in the housing area or adjacent to the child development and youth centers, driving privileges are immediately revoked for at least 14 days.

“The myth that there is a buffer up to five mph over the posted limit is not true,” Frank explained. “Driving one mph over the posted speed limit is speeding and a citation may be issued for the violation.”

Pedestrians are also responsible for their safety. Every pedestrian should look both ways for oncoming traffic prior to crossing the road and utilize designated crosswalks.If traffic is observed, a pedestrian should wait at the crosswalk until the vehicle acknowledges their presence and allows them to cross. Drivers may not see pedestrians along the roadway, due to different variables such as sunlight or obstacles. 

There are several parks and play areas located throughout the base. These areas are for Ellsworth Airmen, their families and the base populace to enjoy the outdoors.

“These areas see increased activity during the summer and all drivers must remain alert for children that may unexpectedly dart out into the road,” Frank said. “Children are unpredictable, which means that drivers must remain compliant within the posted speed limits at all times to ensure a safe environment.”

“During the transition of the summer break and increased activities in the housing areas, the 28 SFS will increase their presence and focus throughout the base housing communities and common areas,” Frank said.

Frank added that the men and women of the 28th SFS want every summer to be memorable and accident-free, so follow the speed limits, look both ways before crossing the street and have a great summer.