Motorcycle safety policy change high priority at Hurlburt Field

HURLBURT FIELD -- The 16th Special Operations Wing Safety Office announced a change in the motorcycle safety class policy March 22.

The new policy is in accordance with Department of Defense Instruction 6055.4, which states before operation of any motorcycle, personnel shall successfully complete an approved rider or operator safety course.

“Motorcycles have been a big issue in the Air Force,” said Ken Morris, chief of ground safety. “Other major commands require unit commanders have a face-to-face meeting with individuals.”

The new policy requires that any person who does not currently possess a Motorcycle Safety Foundation card go to their unit safety representative to schedule a class.

This must be done before they’re allowed to ride a motorcycle – on or off base.

“Many people are unaware that they need the MSF card before they ride, “ said Mr. Morris. “This course ensures they know what the rules are and that they should abide by them.”

The USR will request either the beginners or the experienced riders course through the 16th SOW Safety Office for the motorcyclist.

The USR will then fill out the motorcycle training letter and give it to the unit commander.

The commander, or designated representative, will counsel the member on risk management and then both sign the training letter.

When the individual signs the letter, they’re acknowledging that no riding will take place until completion of the course.

The rider will then take the letter to the pass and registration office to request a temporary pass valid only for the day of class.

“We’re not trying to discourage riding, just encourage the riders to know the rules,” Mr. Morris said.

The two-day beginner riders course is part class time and part hands-on. The 16th SOW Safety Office provides motorcycles for this course. The one-day experienced riders course reiterates safety, possible problems, life-saving techniques and ways to avoid problems or accidents.

Riders are required to bring their own bikes to this course.

Instructors are all volunteers and experienced motorcyclists who give their time to make sure the Airmen are safe.

“We want as many people to enjoy riding as possible,” said Brett Kerr, one of the instructors. “This is a passion. Once it starts, it never stops.”

“We want people to pay attention,” said Sgt. Scott Eads, 823rd RED HORSE. “We want them to anticipate – to keep a safety margin when riding.”

For more information, contact your unit safety representative.