|[ The Real McCoy Online Home
November 27, 2009
Texting prohibited while
driving at Fort McCoy
|WASHINGTON (Army News Service) — Texting took a back
seat to safety as an executive order prohibits text messaging while
driving on military installations or driving anywhere in government
Executive Order 13513, signed by President Obama, specifically bans
federal employees from texting while driving government-owned, leased or
rented vehicles. It prohibits texting while driving privately-owned
vehicles (POVs) on official government business. The policy also extends
to federal contractors.
“Despite the shocking accident reports and warnings, people still text
while driving,” said Mario Owens, safety officer for the Army’s
Installation Management Command.
Sgt. Domenic Modica, Fort McCoy Traffic Sergeant for the Directorate of
Emergency Services (DES) Police, said the DES
Police are enforcing the executive order just as they enforce the
federal regulations that ban or restrict the use of cell phones on
federal installations. Drivers cannot use cell phones while vehicles are
in motion unless they have hands-free operation.
Police can ticket drivers under Army Regulation 190-5 for inattentive
driving if the use of these devices interferes with their driving,
Jane Schmidt, Fort McCoy installation transportation officer, said
personnel driving government or leased General Services Administration
vehicles on or off post are prohibited from engaging in texting while
the vehicle is moving.
They are subject to federal law when driving on installations. If they
are arrested or involved in a traffic offense off post and texting/use
of cell phones while driving in a government vehicle or on government
business, they are subject to federal sanctions.
“The best thing to do if you need to use a cell phone or engage in text
messaging is to pull to the side of a road and stop the car or park in a
parking lot to make a call or send a text message,” Modica said.
Army Regulation 190-5 also bans the use of other electronic devices,
such as headphones or earphones, CD players, global positioning
equipment, etc., by drivers when the vehicles are moving, Modica said.
By way of the ban, the federal government hopes to set an example for
state and local governments, private employers, and individual drivers,
and to mitigate the rates of unnecessary and sometimes deadly accidents
caused by being distracted by electronic devices while driving, Owens
Before reaching for hand-held devices to engage in an
other-than-traditional-text-messaging session, officials said it’s
important to know that the executive order very broadly defines texting
as “reading from or entering data into any handheld or other electronic
devices,” to include, “e-mailing, instant messaging, obtaining
navigational information, or engaging in any other form of electronic
data retrieval of electronic data communication.”
For more information about traffic regulations in the Fort McCoy
community, call Modica at 608-388-2044. For more information about
texting in and the use of government or federal vehicles, call Schmidt