News: Installation Riders Club holds motorcycle safety stand-down
Story by Lance Cpl. David Hersey
CAMP SCHWAB, Japan - Members of the Installation Riders Club held a motorcycle safety stand-down Dec. 6 at Oura Wan Beach on Camp Schwab.
The main purpose for the safety stand-down is to provide safety training and promote increased awareness for all licensed motorcycle riders, according to Tsutomu Yamashiro, a training technician with the Installation Safety Office, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.
“The significance of this stand-down is to better everyone’s motorcycle riding skills,” said Yamashiro. “Being a lifelong learner on a motorcycle is a must to help ensure your safety. For many riders, their responsibility is focused mainly on themselves.
However, when riding in a group the training and experience provided by the ISO and IRC mentors gives the riders a more dynamic understanding of being responsible for (themselves) and others.”
Marine Corps safety measures require Marines to maintain certain standards in order to own and ride a motorcycle, according to Capt. Jonathan C. Miller, the ground safety officer for 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“All personnel (who) own motorcycles are required to (attend a) monthly motorcycle safety meeting, and twice a year they have safety stand-downs,” said Miller. “The Installation Riders Club is an easy way for riders to do that.”
During the stand-down, the members received an inspection checklist with specific points to inspect on their motorcycles, ensuring their cycles meets the installation’s mechanical safety standards.
The meetings not only serve to ensure that proper safety precautions are taken, but they also provide an opportunity for the more experienced riders to pass on learned wisdom to newer members, according to Gunnery Sgt. Andrew C. Bauer, a helicopter crew chief with Marine Aviation Training Systems Site Futenma, 1st MAW, III MEF.
Following the safety stand-down, members of the club were divided into groups and rode around the Oura Wan Beach area at Camp Schwab together.
“There are things about this you just can’t learn from a book or in a lecture,” said Bauer. “You learn by riding; and here, our experienced riders can share what they’ve learned by riding with those who have less knowledge.”