SHILOH, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center will use the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command’s motorcycle safety awareness for non-motorcycle-riders training in next month’s Army-wide Motorcycle Safety Awareness Campaign.
Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designates May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. This observance coincides with the beginning of riding season for many Soldiers and also serves as an early kickoff for the critical days of summer.
Maj. Gen. Heidi Hoyle, SDDC commanding general, understanding that the Army’s focus concerning motorcycle safety has traditionally been placed on riders and their training, asked her safety office to provide a motorcycle safety awareness for non-motorcycle-riders training packet to the SDDC workforce ahead of the motorcycle riding season.
“We reached out to the USACRC a while back and found a gap in motorcycle safety for non-motorcyclists training support packages,” said Hoyle. “I then challenged my team to develop a training package for our subordinate commanders.”
At the commanding general’s request, SDDC Safety office personnel developed the training for use across the command.
Historically, the command has tracked riders, ensured progressive motorcycle training and hosted breakout sessions for motorcycle riders during safety stand downs.
“We miss a valuable opportunity if we do not also focus our efforts on the education and training of the non-motorcycle rider population, as they far exceed motorcycle riders within our ranks,” said Elias Cantu, SDDC’s director of Safety.
Based on mishap data from the USACRC, 140 Class A motorcycle mishaps occurred between fiscal years 2016 and 2020, resulting in 134 Soldier fatalities. Approximately 25 percent of the fatal mishaps were due to the fault of another vehicle operator.
“As an avid rider, this information hits close to home,” said Col. Stephen York, SDDC chief of staff. “The training’s aim is to improve awareness for our non-motorcycle riders of the risks posed to motorcycle riders and provide tips to safely share the road.”
Besides being the first non-motorcycle-rider training in the Army, it was created by a motorcycle rider and presented from the rider’s perspective of sharing the road and their risks.
Scott Myllo, one of SDDC‘s safety and occupational health managers and the training’s architect, used research and his own personal experiences as a rider to develop the training in about three months from inception to final approval from SDDC’s chief of staff.
“We completed the training in February,” said Myllo. “It has already been sent out to our brigades, and our first widespread public viewing of it will be at the upcoming SDDC town hall and then to the rest of the Army as part of the Army’s motorcycle safety awareness campaign.”
"I'm glad the USACRC and SDDC could partner on this year's national motorcycle safety awareness campaign effort," said Brig. Gen. Andrew C. Hilmes, USACRC commanding general and director of Army Safety. "The amount of motorcycle riders in the Army is vastly disproportionate to the amount of sedan or SUV drivers, yet the Soldier fatalities tend to mirror those of four-wheeled vehicle drivers. Anything our two commands can do to help riders, non-riding leaders and other vehicle drivers who share the same roads is well worth the effort, even if we save only one life."
Find out more about the Army's motorcycle safety awareness campaign by visiting https://safety.army.mil/msam.