[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        April 25, 2008

Seat-belt compliance checks 
to continue throughout summer

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

      The Fort McCoy Police Department conducted the first in a series of  random, spot seat-belt compliance and other safety checks April 16. The checks will continue throughout the summer.

Photo: Capt. Rick Jackson conducts a seat-belt compliance check at Fort McCoy. Random checks will be held throughout the summer. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Capt. Rick Jackson conducts a seat-belt compliance check at Fort McCoy . Random checks will be held throughout the summer. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Capt. Rick Jackson, Division of Emergency Services Operations, said the compliance checks will be held unannounced at various times and locations to help ensure traffic remains safe as the peak Soldier populations arrive.          

      Members of the Fort McCoy community , as well as visitors, including members of the public, can be stopped and cited for violations.

      A total of 239 vehicles were stopped near the intersection of J Street and 10th Avenue during the one-hour check April 16.

      Jackson said 73 were military or General Services Administration vehicles and 165 vehicles were privately owned vehicles.

      A total of 151 Soldiers were checked, with three being cited for not wearing safety belts, a compliance rate of 98 percent. Civilian seat-belt use also was good, with 194 checked and six being cited, a compliance rate of 96 percent.

      The compliance rates on Fort McCoy compare favorably to the United States, which had an 82 percent compliance rate in 2007, and for Wisconsin, which had a 75 percent compliance rate in 2006. Wisconsin is one of a number of states that has a secondary seat-belt law, which means motorists must be breaking another law, such as speeding, before they can be arrested for not wearing a seat belt.

      "Seat-belt usage is mandatory on a federal installation," Jackson said. "Anyone -- military and civilian, alike -- can be cited for not wearing seat belts."

      Another regulation on the books at Fort McCoy that covers federal installations is motorists must use hands-free cell phones if their vehicle is moving or they can be cited, Jackson said. Motorists who wish to use cell phones that are not hands-free while driving must pull to the side of the road or into a parking lot to make these types of calls.

      No violations of this regulation were noted during the safety check, Jackson said.

      In addition, three motorcycles with military operators were stopped and checked for proper safety gear/equipment.

      No violations were observed, he said.

      For more information about seat-belt compliance checks on Fort McCoy, personnel can call (608) 388-2010.         

      Information about traffic safety laws at Fort McCoy is available by calling (608) 388-2044.


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