Ask the CO: No-go for Bluetooth use
Q: Even though I see it all the time, I know you aren’t supposed to use cell phones to talk or text while driving on base. Bluetooth earpieces are OK to use, right?
A: Thanks for the question. You are right; cell phones should not be used while driving here at NAS Patuxent River. Just ask those who have appeared in traffic court.
Distracted driving is dangerous driving and it’s causing thousands of people across this great nation to be injured or killed each year in traffic accidents, and that’s a tragedy. Use of these devices impairs driving and masks or prevents recognition of emergency signals, alarms, announcements, the approach of vehicles and human speech.
Here at Pax River, OPNAVINST 11200.5D and Pax River Traffic Safety Instruction 5100.12C state: “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 while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited.”
Use of a Bluetooth earpiece onboard NAS Patuxent River is specifically prohibited. However, the use of a mobile device that is synchronized or integrated with a car stereo or when the vehicle is safely parked is authorized.
This policy does not apply to fire and emergency services personnel, emergency medical services personnel, or law enforcement/security personnel while engaged in the performance of regular duties. The policy does not prohibit the use of radios, phones, or headphones that are connected to official radio or vehicle mounted intercom systems in the emergency services vehicles of the aforementioned personnel.
In short, if you must use your cell phone, pull off to the side of the road and stop your vehicle. Let’s be safe.