Wednesday May 7, 2008
What is it?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proclaimed the month of May "Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month" in recognition of the continual effort to decrease and prevent motorcycle accidents across the nation. According to NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled over the last 10 years. Many of those fatalities resulted from a lack of awareness by car drivers to the motorcycle riders sharing the road with them.
To date, this fiscal year, the Army has lost 25 Soldiers to motorcycle accidents, an increase from the 13 Soldiers last fiscal year in the same time period. Trends show that 60 percent of this fiscal year's fatalities are within the ranks of E5 through O6 and 68 percent are over the age of 25. Additionally, 17 of the fatalities involved sportbikes.
What has the Army done?
The Army continues to aggressively focus on motorcycle safety. As we enter the 101 critical days of summer, lasting from Memorial Day through Labor Day, emphasis on motorcycle awareness reaches across the force. On May 2-3, the Army hosted the 2nd annual National Capital Region Joint Service Motorcycle Safety event at the Pentagon where key leaders from each service re-emphasized the need for both riders and vehicle drivers to maintain their safety vigilance on the roads. The event included 35 informational booths with vendors showcasing the latest in safety technology and personal protective equipment. Additionally, approximately 150 motorcycles stood on display while participants engaged in activities including riding challenges, demonstrations and competitions focused on safe and responsible riding.
For information on the 2008 National Capital Region Joint Service Motorcycle Safety event and motorcycle awareness tools, tips and safety personnel contacts, visit the "Army's Motorcycle Mentorship Web site"
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
While the Army continues to support the growing number of Motorcycle Mentorship Programs at installation, new initiatives and awareness tools are forthcoming this fiscal year to include a new sportsbike training course.
Sportbike motorcycles are appealing to riders because of their cost and appearance; however, trends are showing some purchasing riders may not have the riding skills necessary to ride these bikes safely. The Army is preparing to implement a training course specifically designed for sport bike riders. This course is designed specifically for the military by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation in conjunction with the U.S. Navy with Army assistance.
For information on motorcycle and driving safety tools and practices, visit the "U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center Web site"
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army is an organization committed to the safety of its personnel, both on and off duty, in the work and home environment. Increasing driving safety awareness in both motorcycle riders and vehicle drivers through engaged leadership at all echelons within the force will continue to save lives ad protect our Soldiers and Families. Army Safe is Army Strong.
INFORMATION YOU CAN USE
- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates
A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT
NEWS ABOUT THE ARMY
WAR ON TERROR NEWS
WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS
"Accidents can be reduced, and many times prevented, by choosing the correct motorcycle and having the proper equipment and training."
- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston in his Leader's Book Notes, April 2007
"We are definitely the young couple on the Army post, so a lot of how the audience learns about life on post and certain proper protocol is told through our eyes. We're portraying real people. There are many E-4s out there with a wife and two kids, and it's really important that we do it right. We've got to make it right for them; we're, as a group, so proud of what they're doing for us, it's the smallest of favors that we can do for them."
- Actor Drew Fuller, who plays Spc. Trevor LeBlanc on the TV show "Army Wives"
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