Stay safe on the road: Heed convoy, traffic-safety regs

Matt Decker
Fort Leonard Wood
As a driver on Fort Leonard Wood, knowing what and what not to do when coming upon a convoy is important for the safety of everyone on the road.

FORT LEONARD WOOD — If you’re driving on Fort Leonard Wood and come upon a training convoy, it might seem tempting to pass it or possibly get around a vehicle or two until an opportunity to pass presents itself. In either case, you would be in violation of post regulations — and taking your life into your hands.

In recent weeks, drivers have been observed on two-lane roads speeding past convoys, often weaving between vehicles, sometimes at high rates of speed — maneuvers that could potentially result in traffic fatalities, according to Fort Leonard Wood Chief of Police James Stewart.

“These types of actions could lead to accidents that result in serious injury and/or death,” Stewart said. “First and foremost, yield the right-of-way to convoys – maintain a safe distance behind the convoy to allow you to stop, if needed.”

Both Stewart and Donald Busbice Jr., with the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood Safety Office, said that exceeding posted speed limits, crossing double lines to pass vehicles and driving between vehicles of a properly identified convoy or funeral procession violate Regulation 190-5, “Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision on Fort Leonard Wood.”

Aside from the obvious dangers, violations of the regulation can lead to administrative actions, including, but not limited to, traffic-point assessments, letters of reprimand or even the suspension or revocation of post driving privileges.

“(It’s) not only a safety hazard but a bank-account hazard,” Busbice said. “(The regulations) exist to prevent (privately owned vehicle) operators from placing themselves into a hazardous situation by passing or intermingling with convoy vehicles.”

Fort Leonard Wood Regulation 210-14 defines a convoy as “any group of six or more vehicles temporarily organized to operate as a column, with an escort, proceeding together under a single commander.”

“The last vehicle in a convoy will have signage indicating that a convoy is ahead and all oversized vehicles will have signs indicating that they are oversized … notifying POV operators of the potential hazard of slow vehicles traveling in a convoy,” Busbice said.

Busbice noted that while some drivers may feel they have legitimate reasons for wanting to avoid delays, no appointment or assignment is important enough for motorists to risk their own safety or the safety of others. Drivers who need more time to get to a destination should leave earlier.

“Plan ahead — arrive alive,” Busbice said. “The fact that you may be late for a meeting with the boss does not validate passing a convoy on Fort Leonard Wood roads. If you’re late, you’re late.”