196th Inf. Bde. puts emphasis on motorcycle safety with inspections

| May 27, 2011 | 0 Comments
Leadership with Support Bn., 196th Inf. Bde., USARPAC, encourages its Soliders to attend motorcyle classes, like the one above, known as “Train as You Ride,” to reinforce awareness. (Courtesy Photo)

Leadership with Support Bn., 196th Inf. Bde., USARPAC, encourages its Soliders to attend motorcyle classes, like the one above, known as “Train as You Ride,” to reinforce awareness. (Courtesy Photo)

Capt. Isaac A. Floyd
Support Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, U.S. Army-Pacific

FORT SHAFTER — The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration observes the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The observance is a national safety initiative that focuses on getting motorists and motorcyclists to share the road with one another. It also promotes the thought that motorcycle safety is an issue for all motorists and not just motorcyclists.

Support Battalion, 196th Infantry Brigade, U.S. Army-Pacific, conducted vehicle inspections on all personally owned vehicles, or POVs, and motorcycles, here, recently, in honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The battalion has designated safety as a priority when it involves Soldiers’ lives, and the event was especially important as more than 20 percent of Support Bn. Soldiers are motorcyclists.

Battalion leadership encouraged all motorcyclists to attend the Advanced Motorcycle Course, “Train as you Ride,” to also reinforce safety. The course focused on cornering techniques and throttle control while turning. It also simulated road conditions and turn geometry typically found on Oahu, using realistic road speeds of 35-60 mph.

Each rider had the opportunity to ride more than 40 miles and practice more than 500 curves, all under the watchful eye of California Superbike School-trained instructors. If the instructors saw an unsafe riding technique or potential hazard, they would stop a rider along the course and correct him or her on the spot.

“As a licensed motorcycle rider and former owner of one, I will never apologize for being a stickler and over-cautious when it comes to motorcycle safety,” said Lt. Col. Fletcher Washington, commander, Support Bn., 196th Inf. Bde. “I am always saddened by the many senseless POV and (motorcycle) accidents reported in the Army’s daily preliminary loss reports.

“All POV and (motorcycle) operators must always keep in mind that there is no such thing as a ‘minor fender-bender’ when it comes to a (motorcycle) accident,” Fletcher said.

With the increase in gas prices, spring session for school coming to an end and summer just around the corner, leadership expects to see more motorcyclists on the road.

For Motorists

•Look for motorcyclists: Use your eyes and mirrors to see what’s around you, and check your blind spots when you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections. Look, and look again.

•Focus on driving: Don’t be distracted. Hang up the phone, put down the MP3 player, settle the passengers and drive.

•Use your turn signals: Signal your intentions with ample time for everyone’s safety. It’s the law.

•Give motorcyclists some room: Don’t tailgate or pass too closely.

•Take your time: Nothing is as important as the safety of your loved ones in your vehicle, as others with whom you share the road and as you, so slow down.

•Keep it in the car: Don’t throw trash and cigarettes out the window. Securely lash down cargo that can fall out on the road, as falling cargo can be a deadly hazard.

For Motorcyclists

•Get properly trained and licensed: Take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved rider course and get licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

•Wear protective gear: Gear should be worn all the time. Service members, however, do not have an option; they must wear gear all the time — on and off an installation. Gear needs to be bright and reflective, including a helmet manufactured to Department of Transportation standards.

•Ride unimpaired: Never drink or use other drugs before getting on a motorcycle.

•Ride within your limits and obey traffic laws: Stay within your personal limits, never riding faster or farther than your abilities can handle.

•Be a lifelong learner: Regularly attend refresher riding courses, as they break bad riding habits.

Visit for https://safety.army.mil/ more information.

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Category: News, Safety

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