Changes to post motorcycle operation policy take effect
Story by: Mollie Miller
1ST INF. DIV. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
The 1st Infantry Division is taking a big step to address an alarming Armywide trend that has taken more than 30 Soldiers out of America's fighting force since the beginning of fiscal year 2012.
Commanding General Policy Letter 13, signed May 22 by Brig. Gen. Donald MacWillie, senior commander, Fort Riley, updates the post's motorcycle operation guidelines and is designed to quell the rising numbers of motorcycle-related accidents, injuries and fatalities.
The new policy letter officially takes effect June 22.
"Far too many Soldiers, Family members and civilian employees continue to be injured in preventable accidents," MacWillie wrote in the updated policy letter. "We must do everything we can to help motorcycle operators ride safely and responsibly."
The updated policy changes standards for licensing documentation and registration, as well as training and protective clothing.
"This (division) is nothing but good riders," MacWillie said. "I'm not worried about them. I'm worried about the other guy who doesn't see them."
The new policy letter indicates all motorcycle training will be conducted in accordance with the Progressive Training Model described in the recently revised Army Regulation 385-10. Under the new model, riders must complete separate training events at specific time intervals.
"The model now includes not only a timeframe for riders to attend the basic rider course, but also the advanced rider course and the sport bike course," said Rick Hearron, 1st Inf. Div. and Garrison Safety Office.
Officials at the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center said the new training model will provide riders with "lifelong learning opportunities that reinforce safe behaviors, enforce standards and keep Soldiers safe."
The second policy change requires all Soldier riders to wear a "vest, jacket or upper outer garment that is both fluorescent and reflective during day and night operation." Reflective belts normally worn for physical training are no longer acceptable.
"We are seeing riders getting hit by people who just don't see them," MacWillie said. "We want to make our riders as visible as possible."
The third primary policy change updates the personal protective equipment requirement for motorcycle passengers. The updated policy letter requires all individuals riding as a passenger on a Soldier's motorcycle wear the exact same PPE as the Soldier driver.
Finally, the revised policy letter requires all Soldiers to register their motorcycles on post.
"This helps us validate an ongoing safety program here at Fort Riley," MacWillie said. "The registration process is going to allow us to centralize all the information and quickly check a Soldier's training and licensing status, without having to constantly go back and ask the Soldier."
Motorcycles can be registered at Building 219 on Main Post. A list of documents required for registration can be obtained by visiting the office or by calling 785-239-8941 or 785-240-0555.