Story by Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Justin Johndro, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
KEYPORT, Wash. – A Basic Rider Course (BRC), Experienced Rider Course (ERC) and sport bike rider course are being offered to Sailors and Marines in Navy Region Northwest by Cape Fox Professional Services (CFPS), a company contracted by the Navy to provide recreational, traffic and motorcycle safety training.
At the BRC, riders are taken through class-led instruction followed by basic motorcycle techniques at the Keyport Motorcycle Range on donated motorcycles. The ERC and sport bike course follow the BRC with advanced class-led instruction and advanced techniques on the range, but with your own personal motorcycle.
The program has averaged approximately 1,800 region personnel since they contracted CFPS in 2008; also, according to the Naval Safety Center, the number of motorcycle deaths has decreased since 2008.
“We’re trying to get the number of fatalities to zero,” said Shawn Seiber, Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Traffic Safety Specialist. “There’s always room for improvement when it comes to safety and training.”
In fiscal year 2013, 17 Sailors died in motorcycle accidents, a significant decrease from the 33 motorcycle fatalities in 2008. Sport bikes were involved in 100% of those fatalities.
“If you’re a rider and in the military, make sure to read the instruction or talk to your motorcycle safety representative,” said Seiber. “Standards to ride while in the military are different than riding as a civilian. If you want to ride, get trained.”
According to OPNAVIST 5100.12J, the Navy requires riders to take a refresher course every three years and wear proper personal protective equipment that include: head protection, eye protection, foot protection and protective clothing while operating a motorcycle.
“Motorcycles are much more dangerous than a car,” said Seiber. “In a car, you have all the more protection to save your life. Seat belts and air bags are not available while on a motorcycle, you need more stability.”
If you have not taken full accountability for your motorcycle, safety and training, it is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
“We have seats available for all of our courses,” said Chop Llamzon, Region Safety Program Director. “Safety is of the upmost importance for Navy Region Northwest and while we want riders to enjoy the open road, we also want them to be trained to lower the risk of being involved in any kind of accident.”
NBK will be holding its motorcycle safety stand-down May 15 at the Keyport Motorcycle Range. All riders are encouraged to participate.
For more information on region motorcycle safety and for upcoming classes please contact Chop Llamzon, Region Safety Program Director (360) 315-5430 or Chop.Llamzon@navy.mil.