Health & Safety

May 17, 2012

Motorcycle safety makes new riders confident

Airman 1st Class Camilla Griffin
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

In 2011, 15 Air Force members were involved in fatal motorcycle accidents. This year, D-M continues to take steps to help prevent incidents like this by providing the Motor Cycle Safety Basic Rider Course held here May 7-8.

In the course, they learn the basics, from balancing on the motorcycle to stopping fast enough to avoid an accident. The course is structured so that when riders are on the open road, they have the confidence and the knowhow to handle any situation that may occur.

“The first day out on the bikes is all about getting used to the machine and getting comfortable,” said Chris Life, motorcycle safety course instructor.

More than 50 percent of the class is hands-on training, with only three to four hours of the three-day course spent in a classroom.

“You go down to the (Motor Vehicle Division) and take a written test and a test on your bike, but that doesn’t mean that you actually know how to ride confidently and safely,” Life said.

The second day of riding is when students get into competitive driving, the bread and butter of building confidence on a motorcycle, or what Life refers to as “street riding.” Street riding involves changing lanes, proper cornering and hand signals.

“My favorite part of training is when I take them out to the motorcycle pad,” Life said. “Some of the things we do on the second day are swerving, fast stops, crossing obstacles and corner exercises.”

Due to this program being fully funded by the 355th Fighter Wing Safety Office, Airmen are able to take full advantage of this course for free.

“This basic course is for individuals who have never even been on a motorcycle before,” Life said. “By the end of the class, everyone should be a confident rider.”

The course is in high demand. Airmen wishing to attend the course should contact their unit safety representative.

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