By Buddy Blouin
When it comes to driving anything, safety comes first. There are also many different rules and regulations to take into account. For example, if you're stationed in Germany and need or want to drive a motorcycle, as a foreigner, how do you do so legally? Soldiers are required to follow a variety of laws, including those of the country they're stationed in. This includes traffic laws. The Army Traffic Safety Training Program helps Soldiers become better drivers, understand unique situations they might find themselves in, and obtain the necessary licenses they may need to remain legal while on the road.

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Army Traffic Safety Training Program Is Sorta Like Driver’s Ed for Soldiers

The Army Traffic Safety Training Program (ATSTP) is a necessary course for Soldiers required by AR 385-10 & USAREUR TASKORD 07-0250. It's run by IMCOM-Europe for the European Theater of Operation. Soldiers take the Army Traffic Safety Training Program to help mitigate traffic issues while driving both on and off duty. You’ll learn the necessary driving requirements and more before obtaining a USAREUR/SETAF/SHAPE/USAFE driver’s license. This is particularly important for navigating throughout Germany, a country with a large presence of the American Armed Forces. In addition to operating automobiles, Soldiers are given the opportunity to take courses and earn licensing focused on motorcycles. ATSTP contract-based Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider courses are available only for active-duty Soldiers. Trained by voluntary off-duty MSF Rider Coaches, this is a requirement for riding in Italy. The courses require a minimum number of students or the classes are canceled. This includes 12 Soldiers for the Intermediate Driving Course, five Soldiers for the MSF courses, 11 Soldiers for BRC & ERC, and 10 Soldiers for the Military Sportsbike Rider Course (MSRC). Before being admitted to an initial MSF course to receive a USAREUR motorcycle license, Soldiers must have a U.S. state-issued motorcycle license/endorsement and have successfully completed a USAREUR four-hour orientation course with a 30-question test. In case of licensing issues, you should contact your local Drivers Training/Testing Station, especially in Benelux and Italy. For Soldiers to ride a motorcycle legally throughout Europe, they must have a valid MSF card (BRC-I card). Your card is valid for up to 12 months. Alternatively, you can also obtain a BRC-II (former ERC) or MSRC card, which are valid for up to five years. Motorcycle courses help Soldiers hone skills and help keep the highways safer. For more information, contact your local Driver’s Testing & Training Station (DTTS) and the vehicle registration office to learn more about the requirements.

The Courses Available

While the branch has moved on from the Army Accident Avoidance Course, there are still plenty of classes available through the Army Traffic Safety Training Program. Here are your options:
  • Introduction to Driver’s Training (1 hour).
  • Local Hazards (USAREUR Drivers License, SHAPE License, USAFE License, SETAF License).
  • Intermediate Driver Course (IDC) (2.5 hours).
  • MSF Basic Rider Course (BRC) (2 days/16 hours).
  • MSF Experienced Rider Course (ERC) (1 day/8 hours).
  • MSF Military Sportsbike Riders Course (MSRC) (1 day/8 hours).

The Army Traffic Safety Training Program Creates Safer Drivers

No matter if you're operating a vehicle with two wheels or four, knowing how to do so safely and legally is priority one. The military is a lot of things. Safe is not one of them. But there’s a difference between being involved in a dangerous situation and acting recklessly. On top of it all, it’s always important to remember that Soldiers set an example of what Americans are and have a responsibility to abide by foreign laws. The Army Traffic Safety Training Program helps keep everyone legal while out on the road.

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The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. | Photo by Pfc. Anastasia Rakowsky 27th Public Affairs Detachment




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