Changes Coming to Traffic Enforcement at NSA Bethesda

NSA Bethesda Gate Sentries to Enforce Updated Traffic Policy
Sailors take part in training as part of Citadel Shield 2018 at Naval Support Activity Bethesda, Md., Feb. 1, 2018. Gate sentries and NSA Bethesda's police will be enforcing updates to the newest traffic policy instruction, including a requirement to turn off headlights when approaching sentries and removing headphones before entering the installation. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Julio J. Martinez Martinez)

06/26/19 01:43 PM

Beginning July 8, 2019, a new traffic enforcement instruction at Naval Support Activity Bethesda will allow NSA Bethesda Naval Security Forces (NSF) to issue tickets with either fines or points attached to vehicle-related violations.

Naval Support Activity Bethesda Instruction (NSABETHINST) 5560.2A covers moving and parking violations and details the circumstances and requirements for suspending driving privileges including the accumulation of a minimum number of points.

“Safety and security is our first priority,” said Capt. Mary Seymour, installation commanding officer. “There are a significant number of vehicles and pedestrians at any given time throughout the day at NSA Bethesda. It’s our collective responsibility to look out for each other. This instruction helps our NSF enforce a uniform policy designed to increase everyone’s safety.”

Among the traffic rules taking full effect are a prohibition on U-turns, a requirement to dim vehicle headlights when approaching the gate sentries, and a basewide speed limit of 15 miles per hour (unless otherwise posted).

Depending on the violation type, failing to comply with the traffic rules may result in one of four enforcement actions from NSA Bethesda NSF.

The first is a verbal warning and the second is a written warning. These two options give the NSF the option to let a driver know what violation took place without the consequence of points or a fine.

The third option is a United States District Court Violation Notice (“Form 1805”) – a federal traffic enforcement ticket that results in a fine and a possible requirement to make a court appearance. Form 1805 violations may also result in points on the driver’s local installation driving record.

The fourth and newest option at NSA Bethesda will be the Armed Forces Traffic Ticket (“Form 1408”) – a Department of Defense traffic enforcement ticket that comes with points – from 1 to 6 – based on the violation.

Parking violations, including parking in a permitted spot without a valid permit, illegally parking in a reserved spot, parking in an undesignated parking area and double parking, will result in an  accumulation of 4-points for each incident.

The points will be processed locally through the installation’s new “traffic court” process. The process doesn’t include a physical court or an appearance. Instead, points are administratively recorded and tracked. Points remain on a driver’s installation driving record for 24 months.

Drivers who accumulate 12 points in a 12-month period or 18 points in a 24-month period will have driving privileges on the installation revoked “for a period of not less than six months.”

This system doesn’t bar access to the installation for pedestrians. It only applies to driving. The prohibition will be marked in the Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS), allowing sentries to see the status of a driver’s privileges when scanning their DBIDS-registered I.D. card.

The appeals process, outlined in the instruction, is done in writing.

Outside of the point system, certain offenses require a mandatory suspension or revocation of the driver’s privileges.

As an example, an automatic revocation is required if a driver is caught driving on the installation while their privileges are already suspended.

Another change outlined in the instruction is tied to pedestrian safety and enforcement of a listening device policy outlined in Chief of Naval Operations Instruction (OPNAVINST) series 5100.12.

Beginning July 8, 2019, per NSABETHINST 5560.2A:

“Wearing of portable headphones, earphones, or other listening devices while operating a motor vehicle or while jogging, walking, bicycling, skating or skateboarding is prohibited. This does not include hearing aids or devices designed and required for hearing protection. Listening devices may be worn on the outdoor track and nature trails only as long as one ear is clear in order to hear emergency announcements such as the Giant Voice.”

To read the full instruction, download it here.

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