Photo Information

A motorcycle patrol officer with the San Diego Police Department demonstrates advanced riding techniques after the “Share the Road” motorcycle safety program announcement aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Nov. 5. Officials with the California Highway Patrol, San Diego Police Department, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, MCAS Miramar, and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing spoke about their partnership in spreading safety awareness to riders and drivers.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns

Law enforcement, Marines team up on motorcycle safety

7 Nov 2013 | Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Brig. Gen. Mark Wise, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing assistant wing commander, and Col. John Farnam, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., commanding officer, met with California Highway Patrol, San Diego Police Department and representatives of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation to announce new funding for motorcycle safety and the enforcement of the “Share the Road” motorcycle program aboard the air station, Nov. 5.
A motorcycle safety grant awarded to the California Highway Patrol allows for a series of yearlong outreach programs throughout California and 60 motorcycle and road sharing presentations to raise awareness about motorcycle safety for riders and drivers. The first of which took place aboard the air station that same day.
“What we are trying to do is take the fantastic training that the CHP provides through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and pair that with the mentorship of a skilled rider,” said Wise. “Riding should be fun, and we want it to be fun, but we want riders to be able to start a ride they can enjoy and finish it safely, too.”

With enforcement efforts by those involved in the partnership, all have high hopes of decreasing fatalities and accidents linked to motorcycles.
“Miramar is always at its best with a team like this backing it up,” said Farnam. “[The training] our instructors provide on motorcycle safety keeps [Marines] from being hurt and keeps them coming into work every day. It makes a difference not just for the individual, but for the nation as a whole when [the] Marine Corps can stay focused on its duties because our young Marines are trained well and know what is going on when it comes to riding motorcycles.”
More than 1,500 service members, families, civilian employees and Department of Defense personnel take motorcycle training aboard the installation each year. Approximately 9,000 Marines work aboard MCAS Miramar, and more than 1,500 of them operate motorcycles.
Units take a huge interest in their Marines’ and Sailors’ safety. For some service members, motorcycle safety hits closer to home than it does for others.
“I have a vested interest in our riding programs,” said Wise, the most senior rider in the wing. “I go out personally to the sites of motorcycle accidents in my command and ride them myself, and coupled with reports, try to see what could have been done differently.”
Wise explained that despite wearing appropriate gear, some riders lack the maturity and experience of a veteran rider, and fall victim to avoidable situations.
Wise and Farnam’s commands both hope to provide their motorcyclists the tools for safe riding through this partnership and mentorship for newer riders.