Hill riders attend safety briefings, rodeo

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The 75th Air Base Wing Safety Office hosted annual motorcycle safety briefings and the 3rd Annual Motorcycle Safety Rodeo here, May 11.

Riders first attended briefings at the base theater. There, fellow Airmen and Utah safety officials talked about motorcycle safety trends and the importance of protective gear. Col. Kent Hansen, 419th Mission Support Group commander, provided a firsthand account of an accident he experienced, emphasizing the importance of how wearing a helmet, jacket, riding pants, gloves and boots had prevented more serious injuries and possibly saved his life.

This annual pre-season briefing is mandatory for Air Force on-road motorcycle operators.

“In the springtime, those riders who hibernate all winter start breaking out their motorcycles,” said Allan Woods, Hill AFB installation motorcycle safety program manager, “so we all get together and talk about introducing ourselves into traffic. We also talk about how we can be better seen and be better riders.”

Woods pointed out that the best things motorcyclists can do to be seen are to ride predictably, wear bright clothing, and make sure all lights are working properly.

“The problem is that vehicle operators aren’t used to seeing the small motorcycles. They’re used to seeing something the size of a car,” he said.

Woods also stressed the importance of ongoing Motorcycle Safety Foundation training, saying it’s the most important thing a rider can do to gain skills and stay safe.

After the briefings, hundreds showed up at the base exchange parking lot for demonstrations, food, radio programming and product displays. The Utah Highway Safety Department highlighted its ‘Share the Road’ campaign, offering tips to non-motorcyclists on how to stay aware of the many two-wheeled vehicles on Utah roads this time of year.

Sgt. Donavan Lucas of the Utah Highway Patrol talked motorcycle safety with rodeo attendees, emphasizing proper maintenance, personal protection gear and fitness to ride. He also demonstrated emergency maneuvers to include high-speed braking and slow-speed riding techniques.

Motorcycle riders who were unable to attend should contact their unit Motorcycle Safety Representatives for an annual pre-season motorcycle safety briefing.