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NEWS | July 21, 2017

Your safety is in your hands when riding a motorcycle

By Senior Airman Stormy Archer 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Riding a motorcycle can be a fun hobby and fuel-efficient way to travel. However, if riders aren’t keeping their own safety in mind, their ride might be over sooner than expected.

“Some of the biggest concerns when it comes to riding are speed and traffic,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas Powell, 502nd Air Base Wing safety technician. “You need to be vigilant when riding a motorcycle, not just for yourself but also for the people around you”

Some of the most common causes of accidents are speeding and overconfidence in one’s ability to ride.

“Sometimes someone will take a corner faster than they should and they will lose control,” said Powell.

Distracted drivers also pose a hazard to riders.

“Unfortunately there are a lot of distracted drivers on the road, and you can’t control what they do,” said Powell. “Just do your best to pay attention to everything 360 degrees around you. The only way you can avoid an accident is if you are paying attention.”

Service members are required to follow Air Force Instruction 91-207 that requires motorcycle riders to take a basic riding course and wear personal protective equipment.

The instruction, which is posted on the Air Force Portal, requires an active-duty service member to take the Basic Rider Course and wear PPE while operating a motorcycle, whether they are on-or off-duty. PPE includes a helmet, a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, gloves, trousers, eye protection and footwear.

While military uniforms are acceptable, a lightweight riding jacket is recommended and will be more resistant to road rash and tearing in the event of an accident.

You are in charge of your own safety,” Powell said. “There are so many things in this world that we can’t control. You as a rider need to make sure you are doing your best to keep yourself safe, whether it’s through PPE, controlling your speed or awareness. Just make sure that you are controlling your situation the best you possibly can, and don’t accept anything less when it comes to your safety.”

Service members and Department of Defense CAC cardholders can register free of charge to take the Basic Rider Course.

Motorcycle riders at all JBSA locations must attend an annual safety briefing to stay current on local safety conditions and procedures.