By Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Changes to Air Force Instruction 91-207, the U.S. Air Force Traffic Safety Program, have been implemented Sept. 12 and affects both cyclists and motorcyclists. The 50th Space Wing Safety office wants to ensure those who utilize two-wheeled vehicles remain compliant and safe.
Changes include a new requirement for bicyclists to wear highly visible outer garments during the day and retro-reflective gear at night on military installation roadways. The requirement for motorcyclists to wear fluorescent clothing is now optional, but highly encouraged. The new instruction also added an additional requirement for sport bike riders to take a sport bike specific advanced rider course.
The changes now put the Air Force in line with all other services’ personal protective equipment requirements when riding a motorcycle, said Arthur Albert, Air Force Motorcycle Program manager.
“A 10-year study of Air Force fatalities showed that more than 70 percent of mishaps involving two vehicles were frontal collisions,” said Albert. “The motorcycle was traveling towards the other vehicle, and if the driver failed to see the lights, it is a safe assumption that they would not have seen bright colors on the rider.”
Although this latest change leaves brightly colored or reflective gear optional, it is still highly encouraged.
“If you have the opportunity to be more visible, why not take it?” said Master Sgt. Sarah Law, 50 SW ground safety manager. “Riders should take any measures they can to ensure they are being as safe as possible. It’s their life on the line.”
The new requirement for sport-bike riders to take an advanced-rider course specific to the motorcycle they ride will remain reimbursable and fill requirements for both sport bikes and non-sport bikes, should a rider own both.
Courses have already been modified at riding schools in Colorado Springs to meet this AFI change, said Law.
As the riding season comes to a close this year, the safety office will inform riders of courses that come up out of season.
“Compliance is an important part of safety and these changes are an example of continuous improvement in managing it,” said Lt. Col. Nate Iven, 50 SW chief of safety. “Regardless of the changes, we want you and your families to be safe on the road. Wear the right gear and apply risk management so that everyone can get where they’re going, whether it is by car, motorcycle or bicycle.”
For further guidance on motorcycle and bicycle safety, read the most current AFI 91-207 or contact the wing safety office.