Randolph Air Force Base in Texas has reached a mile stone of safety when it comes to their troops who ride.

The base has gone 769 days with out a motorcycle fatality.

Begin Quote: "Teamwork made this happen," said Colonel Creig Rice, AETC Safety director, "Commanders set the tone, our safety offices provided training and education, our motorcycle mentorship clubs aided our inexperienced riders, and our motorcyclists exercised sound risk management. As long as leaders stay involved and individuals continue to use sound risk management, we can continue this positive trend." End Quote

In the past, the Air Force has sadly had a lot of crashes where their riders/service members have died and a push was made to increase the training and it has paid off. According to the Colonel, mentoring is a big part of the safety training.

Begin Quote: "Mentorship is a great way to ensure this streak continues," Bailey said. "Riders should talk to other riders about the importance of making good decisions and the consequences of using bad judgment. We have a great wealth of experience out there; we need to take advantage of it."End Quote

I am not sure about the rest of you, but this is something I have spoken of in the past, there are some people who are open to learning and others who are not and in the civilian world - we have a lot of riders who take unnecessary risks. We can choose to be proactive and talk to our fellow riders, talk to them about the risks they take and how it affects the others around them. And for those who are not open to hearing those suggestions we can walk away asking them to never ride with us again or shunning them in some other way - not giving them the attention they seek.

Look at what took place in Wichita Kansas on the weekend where there were several crashes at their toy run - some caused by alcohol and a lot caused by inexperience. Some 3,000 riders participated in the Toy Run and police are calling for changes after everything that took place.

Begin Quote:
The event attracts a large number of inexperienced riders, Schroeder said, who have not learned the safe way to ride in a procession. The result is gaps opening up, which leads to the “accordion effect” which sets the stage for accidents.

“Riders participating in any kind of group run need to be trained in how to keep proper spacing,” Schroeder said. “Inexperience leads to a lot of accidents.”

Alcohol consumption prior to the ride is also a major concern, he said, so measures to report and withdraw violators should be created or strengthened.

“Consumption of alcohol has no place in that event,” Schroeder said. “They put themselves in danger, and put people around them in danger.End Quote

I personally feel that motorcycle training should be mandatory, not so much to protect the rider from himself but to protect other riders. I am not generally an advocate for the government sticking their noses in our lives but at the end of the day, I feel that if riders were trained properly from the beginning, there would be far less crashes and far fewer innocent people would be affected.

There are enough other challenges that face the rider when it comes to safety - every rider knows that however, the crashes that are caused by we riders either through inexperience, unwise choices and or a show off mentality could be greatly reduced by proper training.

There will always be selfish people, people who think they have the right to do wheelies going down the street or highway and making other unsafe and unwise manoeuvres, but if we increased the number of people who were adequately trained, we could see a big reduction in crashes.

I also feel that driver education should be mandatory. People in cages need to be trained to watch for bicycles and motorcycles, to stay off their phones and leave other distractions out of the equation.

One thing I think needs to happen when it comes to driver training...every driver should be taken out in a big chunk of asphalt with obstacles, given a phone and told to text through the obstacle course - maybe if they saw how bad their driving became - how many people and other obstacles they killed/hit etc - they would learn to put the damned things away...

What say you?

There is a TON of news in the feeds today over at where we sift through the news so you don't have to, hope you'll take a moment or two to check it out and see what might affect you in your world.

Here are a couple of funnies from around the net that I would like to share with you - cause we all need a giggle to start the day with:

Have a safe and happy HUMP day.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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