Motorcycle Safety Month: Policy

May is recognized as motorcycle safety awareness month. Throughout the month, Coast Guard All Hands will share important information for Coast Guard men and women who ride, and for supservisors of those who ride. If you have questions or comments about anything, please comment below and we will get back to you with the appropriate answer. Thanks for reading and remember to Ride Safe!



Written by Dale Wisnieski, Safety Assurance & Risk Reduction (CG-1131)

Serving in the U.S. Coast Guard is rewarding and challenging. Like our counterparts in the Department of Defense, we take considerable risks in the performance of our duties, and at any given moment there is the potential for loss of life.

Likewise, when it comes to recreational motorcycling, whether on the road, a track or off-road, we take risks, and for some, the risk comes with severe consequences.

This preventable loss of life impacts families and the unit’s ability to perform their mission. As service members, we train relentlessly to recognize, assess and lessen the risks inherent to our duties.

As motorcyclists, we should be doing the same thing each and every time we ride. To mitigate the motorcycle mishaps within the Coast Guard, senior leadership is committed to providing riders with the proper tools to be a safe and responsible rider.

May is motorcycle safety awareness month. Throughout the month, the Office of Safety and Environmental Health will provide motorcycle safety related information in an effort to increase awareness and lower mishap rates among Coast Guard riders. This is your chance to ask questions and learn about policies, guidance and requirements.

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell has kicked-off this campaign with a short message. Please ensure you take a moment to watch this important video.

Policy: What you need to know

What is my responsibility as a leader in regards to record keeping? What kind of personal protective equipment do I need when I ride? Do I have to take a safety course?

These questions likely come up all the time when a Coast Guard man or woman decides to ride a motorcycle.

In the aftermath of mishaps and tragedies, Feedback from the field indicates that command leaders and riders are unaware of the Coast Guard’s policy on motorcycle riding.

Just last year, the updated Safety and Environmental Health Manual, COMDTINST M5100.47A (series) was released.. As a result, the Motor Vehicle and Off-Duty Recreational Safety Manual, COMDTINST M5100.5 (series) has been cancelled. Motorcycle safety policy is now outlined in chapter 16 of the Safety and Environmental Health Manual. If you are a rider, or the supervisor of someone who rides, make sure you are using the correct and up-to-date policy!

To better inform command leaders and riders, CG-113 developed a short training that highlights the policy and provides the pertinent information riders and leaders need. The training can be found on CG-1131’s web page or on the Health Safety and Work Life motorcycle safety portal page.

Take the time to review the policy. Understanding the requirements within it provides members and leaders a better understanding of what is required..

Policy is just the first piece that helps form a solid safety program.

Next week’s topic will focus on training to include what is acceptable training, and how to get reimbursed for taking training out on the economy.

If you would like to get involved or need additional information on improving your unit’s motorcycle safety program, please contact, Dale A. Wisnieski via email or at 202-475-5206.

Ride Safe!


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