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Vol. LXVI, No. 9
April 25, 2014

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When Operating a Government Vehicle, Think Safety

Have you ever seen a government vehicle illegally parked in a fire lane or a handicap space? Have you ever seen someone driving a government vehicle recklessly or over the posted speed limit? The answer to these questions is probably yes. NIH’s Transportation Management Branch urges drivers of government vehicles to think safety.

Did you ever stop to think what would happen if an ambulance or a fire truck could not quickly access an area? Would you want to be responsible for delaying a response to an emergency? The fire lane is reserved for firefighters responding to an emergency.

Parking spaces for people with disabilities are established not only for convenience, but also for their safety. Did you ever stop to think you could be endangering someone’s life by forcing him or her to park in a standard parking spot? People in wheelchairs risk being hit by drivers who cannot see them, a risk that rises the farther they must travel to enter a building. As a conscientious operator of a government vehicle, take a moment to think about ensuring the safety of everyone.

Taking a risk and gambling are synonymous with unsafe driving. Unfortunately, some NIH employees play the safety gamble each time they drive a government vehicle. Think about the odds. Driving over the posted speed limit is a losing bet and driving recklessly can make your luck run out quickly. Unsafe driving behaviors increase the odds of being in a motor vehicle accident.

Finally, did you know that the driver of a government vehicle is responsible for all fines associated with traffic and parking violations? The next time you are tempted to operate a government vehicle in an unsafe manner, think about the range of risks.

For more information about the use of government vehicles, contact the Transportation Management Branch at (301) 496-4511.

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