Stay safe this motorcycle season

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Alan Port
  • 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Spring is the air, and for motorcycle riders that means dusting off the bike and taking to the open road. For the motorcycle rider at Holloman, there is certain training that must be fulfilled before legally riding on or off base for military riders.

"Training is key", said Dan Salinas of the 49th Fighter Wing Safety Office.

According to Mr. Salinas, the top three mishaps in the Air Force and at Holloman are caused by three things: speed, cornering, and experience. The mandatory training teaches riders, new and old, how to prevent these mishaps.

The training begins with signing up online for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course at . The course itself costs $180 to take, but can be reimbursed by turning in an SF Form 1164 Claim for Reimbursement or Expenditures on Official Business; receipt for the course; and MSF card to the 49th FW Safety Office. This class can also be taken through an outside vendor with reimbursement up to $180.

All military active duty members are also required to take a second course within six months of initial training if they are under age 26, have less than two years riding experience and are planning on riding a motorcycle with engine size of 122 cubic centimeters or more.

Once the courses are taken, the member should go to the 49thFW Safety Office and their information will be entered into the safety database. Then the member will be given an Air Combat Command 15 sticker to be placed on the left side of their bike. This will let the front gate security police officer know that the operator has taken the MSF course.

Also, AFI 91-207, the U.S Air Force Traffic Safety Program states that, all active duty members are required to wear personnel protective equipment designed to protect the individual wearer from any possible hazards they might encounter while participating in a hazardous activity. The proper personal protective equipment that should be worn while riding is:

Head protection: a helmet that is designed to meet or exceed the Department of Transportation standards should be worn and properly fastened under the chin.

Eye protection: goggles, wrap around glasses or a full-face shield that is properly attached to helmet and designed to meet or exceed American National Institute Standard Z87.1 for impact and shatter resistance will be worn.

Protective clothing: a long sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers and full-fingered gloves are required.

Foot protection: riders will wear sturdy over the ankle footwear that affords protection for the feet and ankles -- durable athletic shoes that cover the ankles can be worn. Sandals, low quarter sneakers and similar footwear cannot be used as footwear.

Garment and motorcycle visibility: riders will wear brightly colored outer garments during the day and reflective upper garment during the night. The outer upper garment shall be visible and not covered. Wearing backpacks is authorized if it is brightly colored or has reflective properties.

If none of these courses are taken, no protective equipment is worn and there is a mishap with a motorcycle, a line of duty determination can be made by the riders commander. This means a rider in this unfortunate scenario may have to pay all their own medical bills, lose a stripe, lose pay and could lose their Service Group Life Insurance payment that would go to their family.

"It's just not worth it. Take a MSF course and wear your PPE, period," said Mr. Salinas.

For more information, contact the 49th FW Safety Office at 575-572-3793.