Motorcycle policy eliminates ambiguity, sets standard

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Sandy Rief
  • Air Armament Center Safety Office
In efforts to keep Team Eglin's motorcyclists safe, the rider policy has been modified to eliminate ambiguity in regards to motorcycle rider visibility and garment requirements.

This new policy has been approved by the military commanders and civilian unions of Eglin. The new policy concerning minimum Personal Protective Equipment requirements are listed below, however more protection is always recommended. These apply to everyone who operates or rides as a passenger of a motorcycle, moped or motorized scooter on Eglin. It also applies to military members who ride off base.

There will be an advisement time until May 31, and full implementation will begin on June 1 and will be strictly enforced at the gates as well as on base.

Long sleeve upper garment
The front torso and back side of the outer upper garment must be bright colors. These bright colors must cover a minimum surface area of 144 square inches of the front and back torso. Acceptable colors are bright orange, red, yellow, lime green and white; no other colors are allowed. The brightly colored upper, outer garment may be one of these colors in either a solid pattern or mixed pattern.

During night hours
Thirty minutes prior to dusk thru 30 minutes after dawn, twilight and periods of reduced light due to inclement weather (fog, rain, hail or overcast), operators and passengers must additionally wear reflective or retro-reflective material. This material will be attached or sewn to the upper, outer garment by horizontal, vertical or diagonal stripes of brightly colored (colors listed above) reflective or retro-reflective material at least one-inch wide. Regardless of the direction of the stripes, there must be a minimum of 24 linear inches of reflective or retro-reflective material on front and back (e.g. three eight-inch stripes one-inch wide or six four-inch stripes one-inch wide).

If the operator or passenger is wearing a backpack, the outer-most back side of the backpack must meet the above requirements. For example, put a reflective vest that meets the requirements over the backpack to make the rider visible from front and backside with brightly colored and reflective or retro-reflective material.

Full-fingered motorcycle gloves or mittens

Long trousers
Long pants must be worn to protect legs from road hazards.

Sturdy footwear will be worn. The minimum standard for Eglin is leather tennis shoes. They must be snugly secure and completely cover the feet. No sandals of any sort that exposes the feet or toes are allowed. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends leather boots or over-the-ankle shoes to protect against a variety of riding hazards with rubber soles to grip the pavement.

Current standards
Riders must still comply with all other current motorcycle training and personal protective equipment requirements of DODI 6055.4 and API 91-207. Here are the following PPE requirements:

A properly fastened (under the chin) protective helmet is to be worn at all times. As a minimum, helmets must meet Department of Transportation standards.

Eye protection
To protect eyes against dust, debris and insects, operators and passengers will wear a face shield or impact resistant goggles or glasses. Windshields do not meet the standard requirement for eye protection and will not supplement a face shield or impact resistant goggles or glasses. Operators will not wear tinted face shields, goggles or glasses during hours of darkness.

All motorcycles, mopeds and three or four wheeled ATVs will be operated with the headlight on at all times.

The AAC Safety Office will be working with Eglin entry control facilities to help get the word out to motorcycle riders.

This change takes out the word of 'contrasting' and clearly defines what is to be worn. The fact is drivers can see you better if you wear something brightly colored, adding reflective material at night. It will not make you invincible but helps you be seen by others who share the road.

Motorcycle riders ask motorists to take a second look and watch for motorcycles. Motorcyclists are trained to stay out of blind spots. As a motorist, please help by keeping us out of your blind spot as well and looking twice at intersections. Intersections are where most motorcycle versus vehicle accidents happen.

Keep it shiny side up, rubber side down and ride safe. No one decides when they are going to be in a mishap so wear all your gear all the time.