Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day brings Awareness to Los Angeles Air Force Base
By LaGina D. Jackson,, SMC Public Affairs
/ Published November 25, 2009
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Emergency medical technicians are called to respond to a traffic accident involving a motorcyclist and a motorist. The person driving the vehicle had minor injuries; however, the motorcyclist sustained major injuries. When they took the helmet off, it was a young mother of three children lying unconscious. How could this have been prevented?
Los Angeles Air Force Base hosted motorcycle safety awareness day, Nov. 9, to inform all about safety when riding on the roads and the correct protective gear to wear.
"As a senior leader who rides a motorcycle, I'm very pleased that LAAFB hosted the motorcycle safety and awareness event," said Col. Theresa Katein, commander, 61st Mission Support Group. "It will help motorists understand the importance of safety while sharing the road with motorcyclists."
LAAFB focused on promoting motorcycle safety for the United States Air Force, while promoting motorcycle awareness for the general base populace. The event allowed motorcycle safety representatives to provide a demonstration on how motorcycles can perform when proper safety measures and caution are applied.
An audience of over 300 people participated in a panel question-and-answer session with nine experts, visited eight local motorcycle vendors, and were entertained during two motorcycle demonstration shows.
The panel session discussed the appropriate gear motorcyclists are required to wear while riding on and off base. AFI 91-207, United States Air Force Traffic Safety Program, states that you must wear a protective helmet with goggles or full-face shield, long-sleeve shirt or jacket, full-fingered motorcycle gloves or mittens, sturdy footware, (can be leather boots or over-the-ankle shoes), and brightly colored or contrasting vest or jacket during the day and reflective at night. Panelist experts ranged from a motorcyclist police officer to a professional motorcycle racer.
The panelists also talked about the safety of splitting lanes. As a motorist changing lanes, the panel agreed you should always use your signal light, look in your side mirror and look over your shoulder before you change lanes. As a motorcyclist splitting lanes, the panel advised them to make sure they are riding at the legal speed limit passing between vehicles and to always look at the motorist's side mirror to see if the driver sees you approaching.
Vendors were on-site to demonstrate safety awareness. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation allowed people to conduct a motorcycle riding simulated test. MSF explained to the rider their graded scores. The test brought awareness of the state laws for riding a motorcycle. Vic Motor Sports provided free motorcycle safety inspections while informing the motorcyclists the importance of keeping your motorcycle serviced and how to ensure you pass your inspection.
For the first time ever on LAAFB a demonstration team conducted a motorcycle show. The professional riders demonstrated how motorcycles can perform when proper safety measures and caution are applied.
It is important to be safe and respect other motorists and motorcyclists when sharing the roads. LAAFB does not want to add to the story Corporal Damon McCord, 61 Security Forces Service Department of Defense Police, encountered his cousin, Edward Harnage, 20 years old and a father of two was in the Army National Guard and scheduled to deploy to Iraq. Five days before his deployment, he was riding his motorcycle when an SUV truck was driving too close behind him. Harnage looked back at the SUV and he hit the side of another vehicle and fell off his motorcycle. The accident ended Harnage's life five days before his deployment.
At 4 p.m., the event ended and people walked away with the safety knowledge, understanding and awareness from the event.