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Around The Fleet

Navy Emphasizes Motorcycle Safety To Riders

As summer approaches, some Sailors begin to dust off their motorcycle helmets and prepare to start riding again.

An increase of motorcycle riders in the warmer seasons can bring a potential increase in motorcycle accidents.

All commands have motorcycle safety programs that promote rider safety and highly encourage motorcycle training. On top of the safety programs, the Navy requires all Sailors who ride motorcycles complete at least two training courses designed to teach the basics of bike handling and risk management.

"Navy policy has a requirement that military personnel operating a motorcycle, on or off base, shall complete Level I and Level II training initially, and then a refresher course every three years," said Alicia Harkins, Navy Installations Command's traffic safety program manager. "Each course has a classroom component and a motorcycle riding component."

Although only a few courses are required, Sailors are encouraged to pursue additional training.

The Navy requires Sailors to wear personal protective equipment which includes a helmet, eye protection, proper footwear, and appropriate clothing. There are also several advanced training courses available.

There were 12 motorcycle accidents that resulted in fatalities in 2015, the lowest number the Navy has seen in 10 years. The Navy Safety Center hopes that number continues to decrease.

"Understanding your limitations and determining the risks you are willing to accept will define safe riding and should be done before you get on a motorcycle," said Murphy. "The use of sound risk management practices, rider vigilance, and training reduces the probability of motorcycle mishaps."