Safety Precautions Save Lives

16 May 2006 | Pfc. Josephh R. Stahlman

With the summer months quickly approaching, Marines and sailors in the area are gearing up their motorcycles for the warm weather and their commands want to make sure safety is paramount.

Marines must take mandatory classes before operating a motorcycle and have all the required personal protective equipment required to ride a motorcycle.

“To ride a motorcycle, Marines ages 26 and below must take the Drivers Improvement Course,” said Staff Sgt. Heather L. Baltazar the Headquarters Battalion Environmental Compliance Officer and Safety Officer.

The DIC is available through the Work Force Learning Center, Building 524. Marines must complete the course to register their motorcycles on base. The course is designed to prevent motorcycle accidents and keep the riders safe.

“There have also been new changes to the PPE that Marines must wear while riding,” said Baltazar.

According to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., motor vehicle and traffic regulations Base Order P5560.2L chapter 3, Personal Protective Equipment, certain PPE is mandatory for all Marines riding a motorcycle on or off Marine Corps installations, effective April 10.

Marines riding motorcycles must have a fastened helmet, shatter resistant goggles or a full-face shield attached to the helmet, a reflective vest, long sleeve shirt and pants, hard sole boots and full-fingered gloves or mittens, according to the order.

“There are also mandatory clubs that all riders must join” said Baltazar. The clubs meet monthly to share information.

“The clubs are just starting but I see a lot of good potential in them,” said Lance Cpl. Chad M. Pressler, who works in system administration with 5th Special Security Communications Team.
Pressler, who’s been riding for six years, said the clubs are good for riders to get information and share experiences. Precautions such as this are in place for the service members’ protection.

Baltazar said six Marines have died this year already and hopefully these precautions will prevent future deaths. All these safety precautions, classes and clubs required to ride motorcycles are meant to educate and protect Marines and keep them safe so they can perform their duties.