Traffic Safety at Fermilab

Questions & Answers


Posted: April 19, 2011
I received an e-mail stating that I have received a traffic citation, but I did not. What do I do?
Sometimes mistakes are made or the FNAL sticker on the vehicle is not associated with the present owner or driver. Please forward the e-mail you received to TCR@fnal.gov stating the problem and it will be investigated.
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Posted: April 19, 2011
The email I received states that I have five working days after receiving a citation to appeal, what does that mean?

You either received a piece of paper with "Traffic Citation" written near the top from a security guard or found such a piece of paper on your car. This is considered the time at which you "received a citation". You have five working days from that point to appeal it if you feel it was in error. Information printed at the top of the citation states this. You can find the appeals form here.

The citation is not entered in to the database, which generates the e-mail, until after the appeal period has passed. Thus you do not receive the e-mail until the 5 day appeal period is over. So once you received the e-mail it is too late to appeal that particular citation. There will be exceptions to this, such as those cases where you received the e-mail in error.

When you receive a citation and have questions you may also call the Security Office. Information printed on the citation reads "All questions pertaining to the citation should be referred to the Security Office at 840-4949."

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Posted: April 19, 2011
I filled out the citation appeal form and submitted it, what happens next?

The appeal is generally denied if submitted after the five day deadline.

The Traffic Safety Subcommittee (TSS) Chair reviews the appeal and the citation. Notification (e-mail) is sent to you, Security Administrative Assistant, Point of Contact (POC) for your D/S/C, your supervisor, and the WDRS POCs. Instructions are given "do not take action at this time" and the citation is held from entry into the database until the appeals process is completed.

A Traffic Citation Review Committee member contacts you to arrange a time and state a location for the meeting. A Traffic Citation Review Committee has been established. It is comprised of two standing members selected from the Traffic Safety Subcommittee, a temporary third member selected by the appealing person (check the box on the citation appeal form to do this) and one ex-officio member of the Employee Relations staff. This Committee will review the citation and talk with appropriate people to determine the facts. The Committee will rule on the validity of the citation by taking a majority vote. If the citation is considered invalid, the record will be purged; if it is considered valid, the appropriate actions per FESHM 9010 will proceed.

You will receive written notification (email) with the resolution of your appeal. The results will be sent to the above contact list so that action can progress on the citation.

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Posted: April 19, 2011
I missed the five day deadline, what do I do now?
You can file a grievance under the appropriate grievance procedures of the Laboratory if disciplinary action has occurred as a result of this citation. A letter to your file is considered disciplinary action (http://wdrs.fnal.gov/policies/policy/internalcomplaint.html).
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Posted: April 19, 2011
I lost my appeal and disagree with the results, what do I do now?
You can file a grievance under the appropriate grievance procedures of the Laboratory if disciplinary action has occurred as a result of this citation. A letter to your file is considered disciplinary action (http://wdrs.fnal.gov/policies/policy/internalcomplaint.html).
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Posted: April 19, 2011
I lost my appeal and received disciplinary action, what do I do now?
If an employee is disciplined as a result of the citation, he/she can file a grievance under the appropriate grievance procedures of the Laboratory (http://wdrs.fnal.gov/policies/policy/internalcomplaint.html).
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Posted: April 19, 2011
I received a citation but did not sign it because I disagreed with the charge and that, without my signature, it would not be considered a valid citation. I received an email saying that it was a violation. Why did this happen?
Citations that are not appealed are automatically entered into the system after the five day wait period. The traffic citation states "Your signature is not an admission of guilt but merely an acknowledgement that you did receive the citation. A copy of this citation will be retained as part of your Fermilab driving record. All questions pertaining to the citation should be referred to the Security Office at 840-4949."
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Posted: April 19, 2011
Why should I appeal a citation? Employees never win anyway.
You should appeal a citation if you feel it was given in error. These investigations also yield important information and help the Laboratory to refine and modify, when necessary, policies and procedures. Discrepancies have been noted and corrected as the result of citation appeals investigations.
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Posted: April 19, 2011
I received a citation for speeding. I think the radar reading was wrong. How can I be sure that the radar read my speed correctly?
The radar unit has an internal calibration feature. It is also checked for proper calibration by Fermilab Security prior to use. Fermilab Security Guards are trained for proper use of the radar unit and are retrained annually. Fermilab Security Guards are trained on site and must be certified by Fermilab before they are allowed to perform a traffic stop. The unit is sent to the manufacturer for examination and calibration every two years. A certificate or letter is sent to the laboratory documenting calibration.
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Posted: April 19, 2011
I received a citation for not stopping at the stop sign. What is the proper way to observe a posted stop sign?
Come to a complete stop then continue. Rolling through at any speed is not acceptable. A complete stop means your wheels are no longer turning. If you have a digital speedometer, wait until it shows "0 mph" for a few seconds.
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Posted: March 29, 2010
Do I get any sort of notification before the "final written warning"?
People who get one moving violation or two parking violations (within 90 days) will get an e-mail informing them of both the appeals process and the discipline process.
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Posted: March 26, 2010
I have been licensed by the federal government to operate fixed and mobile two-way radio equipment anywhere in this country. Do your local rules override those federal authorizations?
We appreciate you pointing this out as we did not consider the impact of FESHM 9010 on Fermilab's ham radio community. Fermilab's new traffic safety policy will be modified to state that a mobile (electronic/communication) device does not include audio equipment or any equipment installed in the vehicle to provide navigation or emergency information to the driver, or video entertainment exclusively to passengers in the back seat. Nor does it include two-way mobile radio transmitters or receivers used by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
Why has Fermilab adopted a stricter rule than the state of Illinois for cell phone use while driving on the Fermilab site?
For most Fermilab employees, the greatest safety hazard is a traffic accident on site. Fermilab is committed to reducing this risk. According to studies cited by the National Safety Council, the use of cell phones, even hands-free devices, is the most significant distraction that affects driving performance.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
How is a phone conversation any different from talking to a passenger?
The National Safety Council states that cell phone and passenger conversations are very different in their level of distraction and effect on drivers. Studies have compared the risk of cell phone conversations to passenger conversations and determined that cell phone conversations pose a much higher risk. People engaged in cell-phone conversations experience cognitive distraction-- that is, the brain cannot process cell-phone conversations and driving tasks simultaneously. For young, inexperienced teen drivers, even conversations with passengers are high-risk activities. That is why restricting passengers is a basic element of laws for teen drivers.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
Am I allowed to use the radio, CD player, tape player, etc in the vehicle while driving?
Yes. While these devices can also be distracting, data show that they are far less distracting than cell phone use. The relative risk, frequency and duration of cell phone use make it much more likely to lead to a crash or near crash than most other behaviors drivers engage in. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to wait until your car is stopped to change a CD, for example. There are a few actions that put drivers at higher risk than cell phone use, such as turning around and talking to back-seat passengers, retrieving an item from the back seat or reading books and newspapers while driving.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
What if the vehicle has the cell phone built in, such as On-Star, Infinity, Sync, or another in-vehicle communications system? Am I allowed to use it?
Not while you are driving. These are two-way communication devices. You need to pull over and stop your vehicle to make a call or return a call. There is little or no documented difference between the risk associated with hand-held and hands-free devices. This indicates that the distraction comes from the cell-phone conversation, not from holding the phone.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
If my cell phone has a GPS navigation system in it, am I allowed to use it?
You may read from your cell phone GPS system, but not enter data into it while driving. You need to position your cell phone so that you can see the road while you are reading navigational information from it. You need to pull over and stop your vehicle to enter data.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
Is there a difference between the use of a global positioning or navigation system and obtaining navigational information from cell phones?
No. Entering data into a GPS device or other navigation system is similar to texting and not allowed while driving on the Fermilab site. We will clarify the text in the Fermilab regulations, FESHM 9010. Reading from or listening to a device for directional purposes while driving is allowed as long as you can see the road at the same time.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
Why are there exceptions for “operators of emergency vehicles while performing official duties, and two-way radios provided by the Laboratory for official business"?
Two-way radios are required for certain job functions, including emergency response and dispatch.  The training regarding these communication devices and the nature of conversations of people performing official duties as emergency response personnel and laboratory business on two way radios is such that the communication is designed to be very short and specific and thus less distracting.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
Suspending somebody for an entire week without pay for getting four parking tickets in 90 days is extremely harsh. Why don’t you use a fine or a shorter suspension?
We have to follow the law. One set of regulations prohibits us from fining our employees. We thought another set of regulations determined that the minimum suspension for exempt employees was a week. This was true for furloughs but is not required for certain types of disciplinary action. Thus after careful consideration, Fermilab has updated its levels of discipline for moving and parking violations. These changes were made to allow management more flexibility and to more closely mimic the monetary impact of similar violations offsite. This change is reflected in the revised chapter of the Fermilab ES&H Manual on traffic safety. Previously, personnel received five days off without pay if they accrued three or more moving violations in a six month period or four or more parking violations in a 90 day period. The new policy has reduced the number of days off to a minimum of 2 days for a similar number of moving violations and a minimum of 1 day off for parking violations. The number of days off is determined by the D/S/C head in conjunction with WDRS.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
Would anybody have been suspended in the past if the new Fermilab traffic rules had been in place?
We checked our records for last year. In 2009, Fermilab security issued 347 moving violations and 134 parking violations, including citations for visitors and contractors. About a dozen employees would have received the final warning letter, but no employee would have been suspended.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
Why do you all of a sudden make such a big deal out of traffic safety? Has anybody ever been killed in a traffic accident on site?

We look at the precursors. While we haven’t had a traffic fatality on site in about 20 years, we have seen several severe accidents in recent years, including a driver speeding and rolling over the car; a driver running a stop sign and hitting another vehicle; a driver talking on a cell phone and crashing into a guard house. Hence we decided to address the issue of traffic safety on the Fermilab site.

In the 1970s and 1980s, we had a total of three traffic fatalities on the Fermilab site:

  • The driver of a car traveling on B Road lost control and struck a large tree. A passenger in the car died of the injuries sustained in the accident.
  • A visiting scientist and two friends were riding single file on Batavia Road near Site 59 when the last of the three cyclists was hit from behind by an automobile and killed.
  • A teacher from Batavia was killed when her vehicle was hit by a car that ran the stop sign at the intersection of Batavia Road and Eola Road.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
If the “no cell phone use while driving” rule extends to all drivers, including visitors to the site, how will the new rule be disseminated to delivery drivers and other visitors to the Fermilab site?
We will post permanent signs at the gate houses concerning our no cell phone use while driving policy. In addition, the ban will be covered in subcontractor orientation training.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
What is being done about the bicyclists on site (employees, users and the general public) who do not follow the rules?
Bicyclists who do not follow the rules are subject to citations like all other people using the roads on the Fermilab site. If employees or users receive too many citations, they’ll be suspended without pay. If visitors receive too many citations, they’ll be banned from the site. The Traffic Safety Awareness course reviews bicycle safety and the Fermilab traffic rules (FESHM 9010) address bicycle safety as well.
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Posted: March 11, 2010
I do not have a driving license. Why do I have to take the traffic safety training class?
The “Traffic Safety Awareness” class focuses on many aspects of traffic safety, including the use of crosswalks, bicycles, etc. It focuses on how to safely share the road, not on how to drive a car.
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Last modified: 02/13/2012 |