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Motorcycle safety: Warmer weather means more motorcycles on roadways

Motorcyclists participate in the 7th annual “See me, Save me” campaign ride June 16 near the Hill Aerospace Museum. The ride was designed to focus attention on roadway safety for all users. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Warmer weather means more motorcycles on the road and the 75th Air Base Wing Safety Office encourages all motorists to be vigilant and look twice for motorcyclists. In addition, the Safety Office offers courses for riders, some of which is required for military members. Call 801-777-SAFE (7233) for more information. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --

With occasional days of warmer weather and extra time on weekends, there have been more motorcycles on the roadways enjoying the break from winter.

Motorcycles can be easily overlooked, so it is imperative for motorists be vigilant and look twice to see whether there are any oncoming motorcyclists.

Since 2011, the Air Force has lost 125 Air Force members to motorcycle fatalities.

Of those 125 members, 9% were not wearing a helmet, and 52% were under the age of 25 years old. Like most mishaps, these fatalities could have potentially been avoided had the risks been assessed compared to the riders' skills.

This is called risk offset and you want to have good risk offset where your skills exceed the potential risks you take. One way to work on this is to take a formal training course or ride with one of the base mentorship groups.

Locally, the Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club (Chapter 67) and Hill Riders welcome all riders and will work to make you a better rider.

If you are a rider, do you know who your unit Motorcycle Safety Representative is? Is your data in MUSTT (the Motorcycle Unit Safety Tracking Tool) current? Are you coming due or overdue for training? Volunteer MSF instructors are gearing up for training in 2021 and have the first class set to begin in March.

If you are due or overdue training, contact your MSR or the Safety Office at 777-SAFE (7233) to get scheduled. While the requirement is focused on military members, if space is available dependents and civilian employees may participate.

Commander’s are responsible to ensure that their personnel receive a preseason briefing. Have you had the opportunity to participate in this? Has it been documented in your MUSTT record?

The 75th Air Base Wing Safety Office has a template for all commanders/directors to use in meeting this annual requirement.

Every year, riders express an interest in becoming an MSF certified Rider Coach.

We had the opportunity to train and certify 12 new Rider Coaches last fall and will put together a class this year if the interest is still there. Those who desire can call the Safety Office at 777-SAFE (7233)  and ask to have their name recorded as a potential candidate for the next class.

The course will run seven days with the last two days Rider Coach candidates will teach a Basic Rider Course of students. Your commander/supervisor must approve your participation.

For more information, contact Pat Hansen at 801-586-3066 or visit the Hill AFB Motorcycle Program SharePoint (via your CAC-enabled computer) at https://usaf.dps.mil/sites/21134/HillAFB/Moto/default.apx.