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Riders beware

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Spring is here and the 50th Space Wing Safety office would like to remind motorcycle riders of the importance of training compliance and maintaining safety standards both on and off Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.

"Motorcycle safety is not only for the rider, it's for all drivers as well," said Tech. Sgt. Alejandro Torres, 50 SW ground safety manager.

Currently, the base has 96 motorcycle riders, and of those, 44 are missing training or are non-current.

Torres, who executes the instillation's safety program, would like to remind riders their training is a mandatory Department of Defense requirement. And despite state laws, riders are still required to abide by Air Force Instruction 91-207 Traffic Safety Program.

"The state of Colorado doesn't require helmets for motorcyclists, however, military members are required to wear one as well as protective clothing," said Torres. "Security forces has visual aids at the gates to verify riders are wearing appropriate PPE and enforcing safety standards."

Torres added if riders come to base without required equipment they will not be allowed entry. The safety office is also issuing a stern warning to all members who are considering riding a motorcycle.

"Anyone who wants to ride, prior to ever test-riding a bike, must attend a Motorcycle Safety Foundation basic riders course," Torres said.

That's the first step. Between 60 days to a year after the initial course, riders must also attend an intermediate course. Sport bike riders must attend an advanced rider's course. After that, every five years riders must attend a refresher course.

"Riders are reimbursed for all training received because it's mandatory," Torres said. "They just have to bring their receipts to the safety office."

The safety office is also standing up a motorcycle mentorship program to help ease some stress for motorcycle riders on base.

"The program will create a group of riders, motorcycle mentors, who know the program requirements and can share information about safety," he said. "The idea is to bring in anyone, experienced or inexperienced, to come together and educate one another."

One of the highlights of the mentorship program is it will offer refresher rides so people don't have to take a separate course off base. 

"It's a no cost way for experienced riders to teach newer riders," said Torres. "The program is nearly up and running and is just awaiting final approval."

Torres wants to remind Team Schriever each unit has a motorcycle safety representative who is monitoring riders and ensuring members are compliant with training.

David Duhe, 50 SW wing staff agency safety representative, advises all drivers to be cautious when on the road but especially motorcyclists.

"Riders have to be more defensive because, they're more exposed," he said. "If a rider is involved in an accident they're not as protected, so it's important they take their safety seriously."

For more information visit the 50 SW Safety Office SharePoint at
https://eis.afspc.af.mil/unit/50sw/Home/Safety/cycles/default.aspx

"Follow the program requirements because they're meant to protect you," said Torres.
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