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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | March 19, 2012

Team Andrews stresses motorcycle safety

By Senior Airman Torey Griffith 11th Wing Public Affairs

As fuel prices soar this spring, many Team Andrews motorcyclists will pull the tarp off of their two-wheeled machines to combine the freedom and excitement of riding with their daily commute in an effort to ease wallet fatigue at the gas pump.

These fuel-sipping, chrome and carbon fiber-laden forms of transportation have many advantages over cars and trucks, but are also inherently dangerous vehicles to operate.

"All military members who ride motorcycles, whether on or off base, are required by Air Force Instruction 91-207 to complete motorcycle safety training," said Jamison Kesselring, 11th Wing Safety technician. "These courses, combined with the proper safety equipment, aim to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents, injuries and deaths."

Air Force-led joint bases, such as Andrews, provide motorcycle safety training to all DoD components, as agreed to under joint base guidance.

After completing their initial training, military personnel should complete intermediate training within 120 days "but in no case more than 1 year," according to the AFI. Refresher training should be completed at intervals "not less than three years and not more than 5 years."

Team Andrews members who have recently transferred here, or those who want buy a motorcycle, should contact their Unit Motorcycle Safety Representative to begin training.
Along with these training requirements, all riders must wear the following proper personal protective equipment (PPE): 

Head Protection: A helmet, certified to meet current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218 or Snell Standard M2005, shall be worn and properly fastened under the chin.

Eye Protection: Goggles, wrap around glasses, or a full-face shield (properly attached to helmet) designed to meet or exceed American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z87.1, or UNECE 22.05 or BS6658 for impact and shatter resistance will be worn and properly used. A windshield does not constitute proper eye protection.

Protective Clothing: Wearing of long sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers and full-fingered gloves or mittens is required. Gloves or mittens will be made from leather or other abrasion-resistant material. Gloves should be a sturdy, non-slip type to permit a firm grip on the controls. Wearing of a motorcycle jacket and pants constructed of abrasion resistant materials such as leather, Kevlar® and/or Cordura® containing impact absorbing padding is strongly encouraged.

Foot Protection: Sturdy, over the ankle footwear that affords protection for the feet and ankles (durable leather or ballistic-type cloth athletic shoes that cover the ankles may be worn). Sandals, low quarters, sneakers and similar footwear will not be used.

Garment and Motorcycle Visibility: A motorcycle rider who is conspicuous to other vehicle operators is less likely to be involved in a vehicle-to-vehicle collision. Motorcycle riders will choose riding apparel as upper garments that incorporate high visibility colors (e.g. fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red or fluorescent red, etc.) during the day and a retro-reflective upper garment during the night. Outer upper garment shall be visible and not covered. Wearing a backpack is authorized if it has high-visibility colors, high-visibility reflective properties or does not obscure the high-visibility and reflectivity of the rider's upper garment. Additionally, riders are encouraged to use other methods of increasing conspicuity such as headlight and brake light modulators, auxiliary running lights, reflective tape to the sides of your motorcycle and installation of position/marker lights.