Annual Motorcycle Safety Day helps reduce avoidable injuries and deaths through education

Representatives from units across the installation provided attendees information on motorcycle training topics, ranging from pre-ride inspections to how to speedily recover a downed motorcycle. (G. Anthonie Riis/Fort Knox)
May 13, 2019

About 75 motorcyclists participated in the 13th Annual Motorcycle Safety Day held at Fort Knox’s Brooks Field May 10.

The event combines safety training, mentorship and a motorcycle ride into a fun event, according to Master Sgt. Billy Rae Singpracha, Fort Knox’s senior motorcycle mentor.

“This is our first ride of the season, and we hope to bring attention to motorcycle safety,” Singpracha said. “We want to get current Soldiers, vets and some of the other cycle associations together for a ride.”

Singpracha said the event is an opportunity to remind motorcyclists of installation-specific safety rules.

“As the post senior mentor, I communicate with the unit mentors, and together, we scrub the requirements, and we see a lot of non-compliance with the DoD, Army and post regulations,” said Singpracha. “We’ve set this up to make sure those things were checked out before the ride to ensure safety.”

Fort Knox Safety Specialist Brian Wood said that the training is important, and all motorcyclists should make it a priority.

“We do this training once a year. All the mentors from each unit get together to conduct this training,” Wood said. “This is a refresher course that reminds them of things they’ve been taught previously and teaches them new things that are important to increase [motorcycle safety] awareness.

“The more exposure they get to motorcycle training and their mentors, the more it will benefit them.”

The mentors provided a variety of training that included: Proper wear of personal protective gear, pre-ride inspections, how to perform brake pad and chain/belt maintenance, tire care and maintenance, identifying road and weather conditions, group riding procedures, how to trailer/haul a motorcycle, how to pick up a downed motorcycle and how to winterize a motorcycle.

Singpracha said he believes all the training, from pre-ride inspections to winter storage, is important and they have an effect on bike performance and safety, despite the rider’s experience level.

“Safety checks are very important to riders, particularly those courses that cover the mechanics of the motorcycle,” said Singpracha. “The last thing you want to find is that one of these things isn’t working after you’ve taken off and you don’t want to put others at risk.”

Fort Knox Safety Director Joe Colson explained that even though the training is not mandatory, leaders should recognize its importance, inform their Soldiers and civilian employees and grant time to train.

“When we offer training like this, organizations need to [allow Soldiers to participate], ”Colson said. “This is not a full day of training, it’s a couple of hours of training and then we go on a ride.” Singpracha said. “This event brings together both experienced and inexperienced riders together, leading to enhanced training.

“We have all levels of experienced riders here — beginners to veterans who’ve been riding for decades,” Singpracha said. “The more experienced riders teach the newer riders and increase their awareness of safety and how to ride [more considerately].”