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News > ‘Let’s get geared up’ to ride safe
‘Let’s get geared up’ to ride safe

Posted 5/6/2011   Updated 5/6/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Carlton Anthony
87th Air Base Wing Safety Office


5/6/2011 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The sunshine appears, warm weather arrives and motorcycles hit the roadways as  winter comes to an end.

No one expects to be seriously injured or die in a motorcycle mishap when Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst warriors begin hitting the roadways. Unfortunately, every spring the number of motorcycle mishaps spike due to several factors: inexperience, risky riding, alcohol, speed, distractions and fatigue. All these factors are preventable and may lead to fewer accidents during this time of year.

The importance of individual preparation for the new riding season is vastly underrated. Even the most experienced riders have to reintegrate themselves back on the roadway after a long winter break.

Before riding a motorcycle, make sure your personal protective equipment is serviceable. In accordance with DODI 6055.4, the Mandatory PPE for operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle is:

· Helmets - certified to meet Department of Transportation standards; properly fastened under the chin
· Goggles and face shields - impact or shatter resistant goggles or full-face shield properly attached to helmet
· Sturdy footwear - leather boots or over the ankle shoes
· Clothing - long sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers and full-fingered gloves
· Garment visibility - a brightly colored outer upper garment during the day and reflective upper garment during the night

No rider should ever feel safe enough to ride without the mandatory PPE.

The joint base leadership and  Safety Office remind all JB MDL warriors to get training and start preparing for the upcoming biking season. It's imperative riders of all skill levels are fully qualified and their bikes are ready after the off-season.

There is always risk when riding a motorcycle. Poor preparation amplifies that risk. Springtime is a notoriously challenging time for motorcyclists. It is wise to remember it may take a few weeks back in the saddle to resume a high-skill level and even longer to recover the skill attained at the end of last year's riding season. Riding, while  free and rewarding, comes with a level of responsibility. So remember "let's get geared up" to ride safe.

The base also offers several motorcycle safety foundation courses. Contact the Joint Base Safety Office at 754-7233 for course information.



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