Motorcycle safety and mentorship -- keep informed
May 17, 2013
Fort Huachuca, AZ. - The Headquarters and Headquarters Company, United States Army Garrison, or HHC USAG, Fort Huachuca, hosted a Motorcycle Mentorship Program group ride and safety training event, May 9, to promote safe and fun riding.
Historically, motorcycle mishaps kill an average of 42 Soldiers per year, according to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center. In attempt to lessen this number, the Army vice chief of staff issued a memorandum in 2011 focusing on the importance of establishing mentorship programs.
The Motorcycle Mentorship Program is an operational link between unit commanders and the riders, focused on improving and sustaining motorcycle safety. This program and its events allow experienced riders to mentor new riders through their transition, ensuring that they become safe and disciplined motorcyclists.
This event was a requirement for all HHC USAG military riders, and was considered their place of duty. Thirteen people participated in the event, and the only cost was each person's gas and food.
The event began at 8 a.m. in the HHC parking lot, where a short brief was given covering group riding safety. From there, the group rode to Cochise Motorsports in Sierra Vista.
Capt. Mark Bottorff, HHC USAG, company commander, said, "Cochise Motorsports provided excellent support to our event by allowing us to use their location. One of their maintenance techs [Bobby Hickman] gave us thorough instruction on basic maintenance checks that contribute to safe riding. Everyone participating was involved in the conversation about inspections, which resulted in several tangents to other safety topics."
After the instruction, the group took the scenic route through the surrounding communities of Bisbee and Tombstone.
"The ride to Bisbee and Tombstone was fun and social, the [lunch] food and hospitality at Big Nose Kate's was great, and the weather was excellent," Bottorff said. "We had some inexperienced riders and some very experienced riders. In the end, I think everyone found a way to both contribute to the event and to learn something new."
As the weather warms up, motorcyclists on post will take to the roads in increased numbers. It is important to stay up-to-date on the current regulations and safety measures specific to Fort Huachuca, as well as keeping a sharp awareness of surroundings while operating a motorcycle.
The Fort Huachuca Directorate of Emergency Services enforces safe motor vehicle operations in accordance with Regulation 190-5 Change 2. Military personnel who wish to operate a motorcycle on Fort Huachuca must complete an approved motorcycle safety course and carry their completion certificate with them while riding.
All Soldiers and civilians must wear proper gear when riding on post, to include: a commercial or road guard reflective vest; a reflective belt around a back pack, if carried; a U.S. Department of Transportation approved helmet fastened under the chin; impact or shatter resistant goggles or a full-face shield attached to the helmet; a long-sleeved shirt or jacket and long trousers; full-fingered gloves; and sturdy, leather boots or over-the-ankle footwear.
For more information about the Motorcycle Mentorship Program, visit http://safety.army.mil/mmp. For motorcycle safety regulations and requirements, call the Directorate of Emergency Services, 533.3482.