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7 ways to ensure motorcycle safety

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Omar Campos, 19th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, rides his bike April 5, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Active duty military members who operate a motorcycle both on and off Little Rock Air Force Base and anyone operating a motorcycle on the base, including passengers, must comply with personal protective equipment requirements as prescribed in Air Force Instruction 91-207, USAF Traffic Safety Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Omar Campos, 19th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, rides his bike April 5, 2017, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. Active duty military members who operate a motorcycle both on and off Little Rock Air Force Base and anyone operating a motorcycle on the base, including passengers, must comply with personal protective equipment requirements as prescribed in Air Force Instruction 91-207, USAF Traffic Safety Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Codie Collins)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark --

The U.S. Air Force lost 11 members in motorcycle fatalities alone in 2016. Proper use of personal protective equipment is required to ensure safety and help reduce fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents.

Active duty military members who operate a motorcycle both on and off Little Rock Air Force Base and anyone operating a motorcycle on the base, including passengers, must comply with personal protective equipment requirements as prescribed in Air Force Instruction 91-207, USAF Traffic Safety Program. 

  1. Active duty military motorcycle operators must possess a valid motorcycle license with endorsement or a learner’s permit. They must attend initial, intermediate, and refresher training to stay current with Air Force requirements.

  2. All motorcycles will have headlights turned on at all times when operating on a Department of Defense installation on or off-road, except where prohibited during military mission or by state, local or host nation law.

  3. A helmet, certified to meet current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, will be worn and properly fastened under the chin.

  4. Goggles, wrap-around glasses or a full-face shield designed to meet or exceed American National Standards Institute Standard Z87.1, or UNECE 22.05 or BS6658 in effect when manufactured, will be properly worn.

  5. 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.

  6. Sturdy over-the-ankle foot protection that affords protection for the feet and ankles will be worn.

  7. Government-owned motorcycle operators during off-road operations should also wear knee pads, shin guards and padded full-fingered gloves.

“The best way to avoid accidents as a motorcycle rider, is to be aware of your surroundings, including other drivers,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Anderson, 19th Airlift Wing safety advisor. “Although you can’t control the behavior of other drivers, there are still steps you can take to stay safe as a motorcycle driver like always wearing a helmet and investing in good protective clothing. Riders are encouraged to select personal protective gear that incorporates fluorescent colors and retro-reflective material to increase visibility.”

For more information on the requirements of motorcycle safety, please refer to AFI 91-207.