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Shining a light on bicycle safety


With many Colorado Springs area school districts reaching the end of their school year, the 50th Space Wing is hoping to shine a light, literally and figuratively, on bicycle safety.

To help Schriever Air Force Base personnel comply with Air Force Instruction regulations, the safety office will give away bicycle lights and reflectors during a Father’s Day event at the Tierra Vista community center June 18.

“Our focus is on bike safety on-base for housing residents, particularly the kids. We’re hoping to catch a lot of the housing folks (at the event), it’s a collaborative approach with TVC,” said Tech. Sgt. Alejandro Torres, 50 SW occupational safety manager. “We’re going to provide education so people know the rules and stay safe.”

According to Air Force Instruction 91-207, members riding bicycles on base must “ensure bicycles are equipped with a white front light visible for 500 feet and red reflector or light clearly visible from the rear for 300 feet.”

Tierra Vista Communities has also teamed up with the 50th Security Forces Squadron to provide an incentive for those practicing bicycle safety this summer.

“Security forces is working with TVC to ensure the safety of the children who reside in the housing area,” said Staff Sgt. Steven McCoy, 50 SFS. “Security Forces patrolmen will issue the Super Safe Citizen Citations to children in the TVC housing area who are utilizing proper safety equipment.”

The “citations” will be issued to those youth who are “wearing a helmet and or pad while: biking, rollerblading, roller skating, skateboarding, scootering or other. Riding with the flow of traffic (if 11 or older) or riding on the sidewalk (if 10 or younger).”

“We see this as a great way for security forces to build a positive relationship with the TVC housing community,” McCoy said.

In addition to the lighting requirements, AFI 91-204 3.6.4 also states individuals riding on the installation must also “wear a highly visible outer garment during the day and outer garment containing retro-reflective material at night,” and “a properly fastened, approved (e.g., Consumer Product Safety Commission, ANSI, Snell Memorial Foundation or host nation equivalent) bicycle helmet.”

Another part of the safety campaign is to educate members about the Check-3 approach to risk management, Torres added.

“We want people to know GPS; Gear, Plan and Skills,” Torres said. “Do you have the right gear, do you have a plan and do you have the skills?”

Torres said some riders he’s interacted with have already had a close call, and even experienced riders can quickly find themselves losing control of their bicycle.

When traveling off the installation, riders must be aware of additional requirements under Colorado law. The lighting and reflector requirements are a bit different as detailed in C.R.S. §42-4-221, “every bicycle in use (between sunset and sunrise) shall be equipped with; a lamp on the front emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front, a red reflector. . .which shall be visible for 600 feet to the rear and with reflective material of sufficient size and reflectivity to be visible from both sides for 600 feet when in front of a motor vehicle and 500 feet with a lighted lamp.”

Torres said a good rule of thumb for riders to follow off-base is to act as though they are driving a car.

“Riders need to follow the rules of the road, just as if they were in a car,” he said. “For example, a stop sign means stop, even if you’re on a bike.”

For more information, contact the Safety office at 567-7233.
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