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Motorcycle safety starts with you

Patrick Air Force Base motorcycle riders take the motorcycle safety course in the commissary parking lot.  The course is required for military members who operate a motorcycle on the base.

Patrick Air Force Base motorcycle riders take the motorcycle safety course in the commissary parking lot. The course is required for military members who operate a motorcycle on the base.

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Safety, to some is just a word, to others it means staying alive. How about motorcycle safety? What things can you do to keep yourself alive? I mean hey, if not for yourself, how about for your family, friends, loved ones? You don't want to leave them behind, left to mourn their loved one. A widow, children left without a father or mother. Do you really want to do that to your family?

Safety really isn't that hard, in fact it's really easy. In fact a lot easier than most people think. Many people don't feel like making the effort to be safe, even if it means risking our own life. Many of us want to live on the edge, be a dare devil, and push the envelope and be a risk taker. You need to ask yourselves why? Why am I going to risk my life at the expense of my family? Why am I going to let my family suffer because I wanted to be a thrill seeker? That's just selfish, is it not?

So how can you learn to ride better and protect yourself, or be more responsible? Well I'm glad you asked.

First, identify and correct your problems. Then talk to the friends you ride with, especially newer riders, about things you've seen and what they've seen. By making them aware of hazards you encountered, your friends might not repeat them. A Motorcycle Safety Foundation course is available on every base and goes a long way in identifying these problems and increasing your skill level.

Another other simple way is just by wearing your proper Personnel Protective Equipment. It's a requirement to wear your PPE. According to AFI 91-207:

· All Personnel on DoD Property and Military on or off base

· MUST WEAR:
-- DOT Approved helmet with full face shield or goggles
-- Sturdy over the ankle footwear
-- Full fingered gloves
-- Full length trousers and long sleeve shirt
-- AF Military and DoD Civilians must wear a brightly colored outer upper garment for daylight hrs and reflective during night

· Military must complete a MSF course to operate a motorcycle on- or off-duty/on- or off-base

If you are not abiding by this AFI you are out of Regulation. Also, you are endangering yourself and risk leaving your loved ones behind to mourn their loss.

For more information, contact the 920th RQW Safety Office at DSN 854-3215