Dec. 31 Commander's Action Line

Can you use an officially issued cell phone while driving military installations?

Thank you for the action line submission. Whether operating a privately owned or government vehicle and using either a personal or government phone, the hazards are still the same. Joint Traffic Regulation AFI 31-218 (I) para 4-2 Installation Traffic codes states:

(3) Driver distractions. Vehicle operators on a DOD installation and operators of Government owned vehicles will not use cell phones unless the vehicle is safely parked or unless they are using a hands-free device. The wearing of any other portable headphones, earphones, or other listening devices (except for hands-free cellular phones) while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited. Use of those devices impairs driving and masks or prevents recognition of emergency signals, alarms, announcements, the approach of vehicles, and human speech. The DOD component safety guidance should note the potential for driver distractions such as eating and drinking, operating radios, CD players, global positioning equipment, and so on. Whenever possible this should only be done when the vehicle is safely parked.

Therefore, you must still use a hands-free device no matter what type of cell phone you use.

Can we have a ‘Park before you shop’ policy at the Shoppette?

Thank you for your Commander’s Action Line submission. After we relayed the message to the Shoppette manager, he and his staff immediately posted signs on the pumps that say, “Please pull forward after refueling.” The signs are printed on bright yellow paper so they should catch each customer’s eye. We appreciate your taking the time to offer feedback like this from which all can eventually benefit.

Can you warm up your car without being in it or leave it running while dropping off a child at the CDC?

In the State of New Mexico, you cannot leave your car running while not being in it. New Mexico Criminal and Traffic Law Manual Para. 66-7-353 (Unattended motor vehicle) states:

No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key and effectively setting the brake, or placing the transmission in parking position, thereon and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels in such manner that the vehicle will be held by the curb or will leave the highway if the brake fails. A violation of this section shall not mitigate the offense of stealing a motor vehicle, nor shall the provision of this section or any violation thereof be admissible as evidence in a civil action for the recovery of a stolen motor vehicle, or in any other civil action arising out of the theft of a motor vehicle.

We appreciate your questions and encourage you to keep them coming. I’m positive your questions are shared by many others.