Motorcycle safety saves lives of Marines
By LCpl. Norman Eckles
| Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow | July 29, 2013
Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif. --
The Marine Corps has implemented, for many years, motorcycle safety to ensure Marines know the dangers, associated with riding a motorcycle.
The Corps put Marine Corps Order 5100.19F, chapter four into effect in 2009 because of incidents, sometimes fatal, caused by Marines not knowing proper techniques when riding a motorcycle.
“Ever since I can remember, there has been motorcycle safety,” said Brian Korves, a safety and occupational health specialist and motorcycle instructor on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow. “Safety has always been a part of riding a motorcycle. However, the rules were different from now.”
Now, riders must complete a basic riding course before riding on the steel horse; then a rider must complete follow on courses. This was implemented in 2009, Korves explained.
“The reason the Corps put this into effect was because in 2008, there was a spike in motorcycle rider deaths,” said Korves. “Since they implemented the basic riders course, the basic riders course two, and the advanced riders course, the number of fatalities have dropped to 10 deaths a year, since 2009.”
The Department of Defense has also reinforced personal protective equipment as well, he added.
“It is easier for you to remember the proper requirements if you check from head-to-toe,” said Korves. “You must wear a helmet that is certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT), and depending if your helmet has face protection or not, you must wear eye protection. Next, make sure you are wearing a long sleeve shirt, long jeans to protect your legs from the engine heat, wear ankle-high boots with a low heel, and lastly, remember to put on full-fingered gloves before going on a ride.”
The gear mandatory for Marines is the bare minimum. All other PPE is recommended by the Department of Defense, Korves expressed.
If a service member crashes and they are not wearing the proper PPE, the accident investigation will be submitted up through the chain of command and the individual could possibly receive a Non-Judicial Punishment for not obeying the Marine Corps Orders, explained Korves.
“A Marine can receive anything from a negative counseling to the maximum punishment which would be an NJP,” he further explained.
The safety program is good for Marines because they now have the mentorship program, explained Darwin O’Neal, the chief of police with the Marine Corps Police Department on MCLB Barstow.
“The mentorship program is good because it prepares Marines for long rides and gets them used to their motorcycle,” said O’Neal. “If a Marine isn’t used to riding his or her bike for five to ten minutes at a time, then decides they want to go for a long ride, they can injure themselves. They are not used to riding their motorcycle that long and their body is not accustomed to the bike.”
Guidelines and courses are given to Marines to ensure their safety when driving a motorcycle that can not only to save their life but others as well, concluded Korves.
For more information on motorcycle safety read Marine Corps Order 5100.19F, chapter four or contact your local base safety office.
Staff Sergeant Jeffery Worley, a substance abuse counselor on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., readies himself to ride his motorcycle in the advanced riders course, July 19. The course gives riders an opportunity to perfect their riding technique.
Master Sergeant Matt Blais, operations chief on Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., rides his motorcycle through a section of the advanced riders course, July 19. The ARC is a mandatory course held for service members to improve their skills as motorcycle riders.