Motorcycle deaths targeted
By J.R. Kennedy
| | July 23, 2003
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- Another Marine was killed last week. The Marine did not die a hero during an intense firefight liberating Iraq. He wasn't deployed. He wasn't even participating in tough Marine Corps combat training. He was killed on a motorcycle in Jacksonville, N.C.
Riding just 12 days after he received his motorcycle license, the Marine was speeding on one of Jacksonville's busiest roadways at 2:30 a.m.
He lost control of the bike and skidded off the road. The motorcycle hit a stop sign and ejected the Marine and the female passenger who was with him.
He traveled more than 400 feet before landing in the center of the road. The female passenger landed in a ditch.
The Marine died at the scene. His female passenger is still in critical condition. Neither was wearing a helmet.
Eleven Marines were killed in FY02 on motorcycles. As of July 9, 10 Marines were lost to motorcycle crashes this year.
MCLB Albany, has had too many close calls. Each one involved inexperienced drivers unable to control their bikes and not wearing required protective equipment.
We had 4 Marines involved in motorcycle accidents over the last seven months, resulting in four lost workdays and 62 limited-duty days due to injuries sustained as a result of these mishaps.
MCO 5100.19E, Marine Corps Traffic Safety Program, requires completion of a motorcycle rider's safety course prior to operating a motorcycle on any USMC installation.
For Marines, the course is required in order to operate a motorcycle on base or off base. The course is designed to prevent motorcycle mishaps.
PMO will not issue a motorcycle pass to riders before completing the Motorcycle Safety Course.
MCLB, Albany has a memorandum of agreement with the State of Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety to offer Motorcycle Safety Courses on base.
They offer two courses. The Riding and Street Skills Course is 15 hours long and designed to teach new riders driving fundamentals, mechanics, driving techniques and motorcycle safety.
This course also helps develop mental and physical skills along with braking, cornering, and swerving techniques.
One will also learn the importance of safety equipment in addition to motorcycle preventive corrective maintenance. The Experienced Riders Course is 9 hours and teaches advanced handling techniques.
Either course fulfills the requirements in MCO 5100.19E but new motorcycle riders need to take the Riding and Street Skills Course. Courses are free to Marines and Civilian Marines if taken at MCLB Albany. Schedules, registration forms, and a link to the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program are available on the Risk Management Office website.