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September 14, 2012

News

Motorcycle updates added to safety reg

Story & photo by Geneve N. Mankel, Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy Regulation 385-10, Installation Safety Program, has been revised to reflect updates to the Department of the Army Motorcycle Safety Policy.

“Over the past several years the Department of the Army has made many changes to the motorcycle portion of its safety regulation,” said Randy Eddy, Installation Safety Office (ISO) safety manager. “The McCoy regulation was updated to mirror the Army regulation and not add too many extra requirements.”
PHOTO: A Soldier participates in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course. Photo by Geneve N. Mankel
A Soldier participates in a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course held at Fort McCoy Aug. 29. The course is required for Soldiers to operate motorcycles on or off of the installation.

One of the most-apparent changes to the regulation pertains to the personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, Eddy said. Wear of PPE is required for all motorcycle riders on the installation. The regulation now “strongly encourages use of motorcycle jackets and pants constructed of abrasion-resistant materials such as leather, KevlarŽ, or CorduraŽ and containing impact-absorbing padding.”

The phrase “strongly encourages” is used by the Army to make requirements less stringent, Eddy said.

“It’s trying to standardize motorcycle policy across installations so anyone, whether riding on or off an installation, anywhere knows the minimum standards,” he said.

Installation commanders can include additional requirements based on individual installation needs, Eddy said.

The regulation also encourages riders to select PPE that incorporates fluorescent colors and retro-reflective (reflects light back to its source) material because it has eliminated the requirement to wear reflective gear during periods of reduced visibility and brightly colored outer garments during daylight hours.

Other new PPE requirements include “approved eye protection to be American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1 impact-resistant” and “requires gloves or mittens to be made of leather or other abrasion-resistant material.”

The requirement to display an installation decal on motorcycles has been removed from the regulation. The use of decals for motor vehicles at Fort McCoy was eliminated October 2011.

Another major change to the regulation is that Soldiers must complete an appropriate Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Riders Course (BRC) prior to operating any type of motorcycle on the installation, Eddy said.

Additionally, within 12 months of competing the BRC, Soldiers must complete a course based on the type of motorcycle operated — Experienced Riders Course (ERC) or the Military Sport Bike Riders Course (MSRC).

Soldiers also will be required to take the ERC or MSRC course every three years as sustainment training, Eddy said. Civilians are not required to take MSF courses.

“The course requirements are in response to a high number of motorcycle deaths within the Army,” Eddy said. “It’s not just the young inexperienced riders but also the older riders who are getting into fatal accidents.”

Since the beginning of fiscal year 2012, 43 motorcycle fatalities have occurred in the Army, up from 40 for the same time period in fiscal year 2011, Eddy said.

Soldiers who need to take an MSF course can do so by registering at the website https://apps.imcom.army.mil/airs/default.aspx, said Tim Cumberworth, ISO safety specialist.

The courses are available free of charge to active-duty, National Guard and Reserve Soldiers.

The last course for the year is Sept. 20, Cumberworth said. The next classes will be offered beginning around April 2013.

Units also can request special courses be held as long as they have a minimum number of students available for the training — BRC at least six and no more than eight, ERC at least five and no more than eight, MSRC at least eight and no more than 12 — Cumberworth said. For more information about MSF courses or holding a unit course, call Cumberworth at 608-388-7712.

For more information about safety in the Fort McCoy community, call the ISO at 608-388-3403.

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