Motorcycles rule the roads of JBPHH - for Motorcycle Safety Day

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs

Military members from JBPHH came together to share their passion for motorcycles here April, 1.

Approximately 175 motorcycle riders from JBPHH met up at the Hickam Memorial Theater to talk about motorcycle safety as well as share personal story and experiences pertaining to riding. The motorcycle safety event fulfilled an Air Force annual requirement for motorcycle riders.

“This meeting started off as just the annual briefing from me to 50 riders on HQ PACAF staff,” said Senior Master Sgt. Travis Davis, Superintendent of Occupational Safety Division for Headquarters Pacific Air Forces. “However, with today's reduced manning, I thought it was important to include other riders from across the installation. I gathered help from within the PACAF Staff and 15 WG, and we brought in guest briefers from the Honolulu Police Department to make this more than the standard military briefing.”

The three guest speakers from the Honolulu police department, who are motorcycle police officers, stressed the importance of situational awareness when riding.

“Alot of what we train is decision making,” said Joel Warkenten, a motorcycle officer with the HPD. “One of the things we train is always reassessing constantly and vigilantly. Safety can come down to buffer zones, speeds, awareness, and avenues of escape. It is important to look for places where potential dangers can come from when riding.”

Davis said, these annual events are extremely important to remind riders of the dangers they face when riding.

According to Davis, the Air Force lost 12 riders in 2015 due to motorcycle crashes, and has lost three more this year. Four other riders suffered a permanent disability (loss of limb) in 2015, and another 200 personnel lost nearly 1,000 days of work because of motorcycle crashes. Motor vehicle mishaps, particularly motorcycle mishaps, continue to be one of the leading causes of fatalities and lost time from work.

Additionally, Davis discussed the importance of all motorcycle riders to registering in the Motorcycle Safety Tracking Tool, or MUSTT. This tracking tool allows squadrons and groups to track their riders and ensure they are receiving credit for training they attend.

“There is a lack of rider involvement in keeping their programs up to date, said Davis. “Many riders don't know that it's their responsibility to manage their own information. We have Approximately 408 Air Force riders on JBPHH. This does not include DoD or civilians, Guard, or Reserve personnel. I'm sure many of them have moved but did not know they needed to close their accounts.”

Once the briefing concluded everyone strapped on their helmets, got on their bikes and enjoyed a ride across the installation under the Hawaiian sunshine.

“It is not just motorcycle safety day for the riders,” said Lt. Col. Rico Dy, Headquarters Pacific Air forces Strategic Plans & Requirements, and avid motorcycle rider. “It is a great way to capture the event for our community and let them know about all the riders that we have registered on base. It is all about education and sharing the road.”