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Motorcycle safety
Motorcycle safety is essential for all riders throughout the season. For more information, refer to AFI 91-207, The US Air Force Traffic Safety Program or contact the 354th Fighter Wing Safety office at 377-4260. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Senior Airman Joshua Turner/Released)
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Motorcycle safety

Posted 6/5/2014   Updated 6/5/2014 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Joshua Turner
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/5/2014 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- It's the time of year motorcyclists have been waiting for. The sun is out, the asphalt is clear of ice and snow and motorcyclists are traveling as many routes as possible before the short riding season comes to a close.

With the sun lighting up the sky for nearly 24 hours, it can be easy to think you can ride longer. However, this can pose potential hazards to riders.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, per mile traveled, motorcycle riders are nearly 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash and five times more likely to be injured.

In Alaska, a majority of the roadways have gravel and sand still remaining from the icy winter roads, which can lead to life-threatening circumstances.

"Be cautious of road obstructions," said Tech. Sgt. Victor Reyes, 354th Fighter Wing weapons safety manager. "The majority of Alaskan roadways still have gravel and sand present, so beware of additional hazards such as broken up pavement, puddles, snow or any other objects on the road."

Wildlife unique to the last frontier, such as moose, mountain goats, bears or caribou, can also present a rider with danger.

"Moose, bears and many other wildlife are predominantly present within interior Alaska," said Reyes. "Stay clear of animals and do not try to get close to them. They will attack."

Motorcyclist should ride aware and use the SEE system: Search for potential hazards on the road; Evaluate any hazards; Execute the proper action to avoid hazards.

Active duty members can utilize a free safety course endorsed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The MSF course is a requirement for all Active Duty, Reserve and Guard (on Federal Service) to ride on or off base. New riders seeking to obtain their motorcycle license can bypass the Department of Motor Vehicles road test by successfully completing an MSF course. Classes are held every week at Fort Wainwright.

U.S. Air Force traffic regulations require experienced riders to recertify their MSF training every five years.

"The experienced riders course may provide additional riding information and/or techniques that an experienced rider may not know," said Reyes.

Motorcycle safety classes are held until September and are free to active duty service members. For more information, refer to AFI 91-207, The US Air Force Traffic Safety Program or contact the
354th FW Safety office at 377-4260.

For additional information about licensing, registration, insurance requirements and rider safety in the state of Alaska, visit http://www.dmv.org/ak-alaska/motorcycles/. For detailed information on road conditions and alerts, visit www.highwayconditions.com/ak/.

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