SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- More than 200 service members attended a motorcycle safety symposium discussing the current training climate of the military safety programs on Naval Air Station North Island, April 4.
Rear Adm. Brian C. Prindle, Commander, Naval Safety Center, offered insight into the current safety and training climate when dealing with motorcycles.
"We want to make sure we are drawing attention to the significant number of motorcycle fatalities occurring in the Navy and Marine Corps," said Prindle.
Sailor fatalities reached a high of 33 in 2008 due to motorcycle accidents before the implementation of the motorcycle safety representative (MSR) program in 2009. Each command is responsible for providing an MSR that will assist with training courses and logging reports.
"More than 50 percent of fatalities last year involving a motorcycle did not complete the basic motorcycle training course, and that is a shame because it is available to service members," said Prindle. "We need to continue to close the training gap. We need 100 percent of service members trained and ready for the road to be successful."
During the symposium, several service members offered testimony about personal experiences and mishaps as well as the motorcycle safety courses offered.
Senior Chief Air Traffic Controller Daniel Miller, a motorcycle rider for 28 years, talked about a recent mishap that occurred resulting in serious injury.
"I am alive because of my gear, my motorcycle specific riding gear," said Miller, assigned to Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility (FACSFAC) San Diego.
According to Miller, he was wearing proper protective gear required by military installations at the time of the mishap.
"The symposium is important because it brings real questions and concerns to the right people. The concerns that riders have can be addressed and brought to the attention of leadership as well as fellow riders in other commands," said Miller.
Motorcycle safety awareness is especially important in cities like San Diego where the riding season is so long, according to Prindle.
"We need to make sure service members are taking advantage of all of the safety programs offered by the military and set them up for success," said Prindle.
Safety is one of the key areas of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Navy and Marine Corps.
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