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Safety training, gear required for motorcycle riding military members

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tristin English
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Some individuals prefer motorcycles to cars and for good reason--they are easier to maintain, cheaper to run and they get you out in the fresh air.

Along with the bike comes responsibilities: being safe, watching your surroundings, and taking courses to become more aware of how to handle your bike in various situations. But the most important responsibility is wearing all of your protective gear.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation training is required for all military personnel riding bikes on or off the installation, on duty or off. There are three courses to choose from before people are able to ride their motorcycle. The Basic Rider Course helps people just learning how to ride; the Basic Rider Course II is for those who have been riding long enough to where the basic course would not apply to them; and the Sport Bike course is for riders who have a sport bike.

The motorcycle safety course on base is designed to help military members learn the basics of operating a motorcycle, and making the best choices while riding. Recent changes to the DODI 6055.4, "Traffic Safety Program," require all military riders to complete an initial course and a follow-up course within one year, then once every five years.

Military riders and passengers, riding on or off base, are required to wear mandatory motorcycle Personal Protective Equipment all of the time, and civilian riders must wear the same gear while riding on base, which includes: Department of Transportation approved helmet, shatter resistant wrap around glasses or goggles, long sleeved outer upper garment, long pants, full fingered gloves and sturdy over the ankle footwear.  Safety recommends upper garments that are fluorescent during the day and reflective at night. Presently, SAFBI 31-218 is being revised to mirror AFI 91-207, "Air Force Traffic Safety Program," that will change the use of fluorescent upper garments on base from mandatory to recommended.

If a person approaches the gate without the proper gear, they are denied access to the base. If a rider is caught by security forces without the proper gear, they are ticketed and the ticket goes to their assigned unit. Riding a motorcycle requires more skill than driving a car or truck. All riders should get to know their bike by reading the manual and going to an empty space to practice safe driving techniques. Riders should know their own limits as well as the bike's limits. All vehicles follow the same traffic laws so motorcyclists should remember to abide by them.

If you would like more information on any the motorcycle courses or PPE, please contact the Safety office at 256-6311.