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Fightertown is reminded to ride safe, responsible

By Pfc. R. J. Driver | | September 11, 2009

The number of Marines dying in motorcycle related accidents is higher than Marines dying overseas. Nearly 79 percent of Marines involved in motorcycle accidents in the past two years have not had documentation proving they have completed the required rider safety course.

Classes are offered Marine Corps wide to prevent such accidents, which are mandatory for all service members looking to ride a motorcycle.

“The riding courses are very important. Whether it’s a cruiser or sports bike, we can all learn something from the course and other riders participating,” said Staff Sgt. Seneca Oliver, a motorcycle safety representative aboard the Air Station.

“I have known many Marines who wished they had taken a course before going out on the street and some unfortunate things have happened. If at all possible, try to take a course.”

“Recent accidents have not discouraged Marines from pushing their bikes to its limits,” said Mark Hicks, a motorcycle safety representative aboard the Air Station. “But hopefully they will go about it the right way and take classes and ride safely.”

Every month, classes are held aboard the Air Station to reduce accidents and give riders a controlled environment to learn the ins and outs of their bikes.

“Any Department of Defense employee or service member can take the course here on base. They offer it monthly,” Oliver said. “Even if you don’t have a bike, you can attend. They have trainer bikes, but they need to know in advance to have them ready for the course.”

The Marine Corps already has several rules and regulations in place to bring a bike on base, yet alone ride it. 

“You should have the required paperwork and a motorcycle endorsed license to bring your bike on base,” Hicks said. “You still will have to attend a motorcycle safety course, basic course and either the advance course for cruisers (Harleys) or sport bike course.”

According to Oliver, accidents are what they are. Speeding is speeding; never confuse the two. If you hit someone while speeding, that's no accident for you, and it is for them.

“Never ride a bike too big for you. Meaning don’t buy a Hyabusa when you just started riding. Get a smaller bike and learn more,” said Oliver. “Tricks are for kids (on a track) not for the street. Follow the regular street signs and speed limits and you or anyone else should be OK.”

For more information on motorcycle safety, contact Air Station motorcycle safety representative Mark Hicks at 228-7892 or Staff Sgt. Oliver at 228-6665.