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Motorcycle & Vehicle Safety

Motorcycle & Vehicle Safety

The Navy Region Northwest Safety Office manages a Traffic Safety Program that provides guidance for safe use of installation roads by vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.

 

Motorcycle and defensive driving safety classes are held at Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Keyport.

 

Courses offered include:

The MSF Basic Rider Course (BRC),

which is tailored to new or prospective riders with little or no riding experience. This is a two-day 16-hour class that teaches basic motor­cycling skills and proper attitudes promoting safe motorcycle operation. This course is an important pre-requisite to becoming a licensed motorcycle rider. This course is required Navy-wide in order to operate a motorcycle on any naval installation.

 

The MSF Experienced Rider Course (ERC),

which is designed as a refresher for the experienced licensed rider. It facilitates continued skill development in a controlled environment and allows riders to identify and improve targeted riding techniques.

 

The MSF Military Sport Bike Rider Course (MSRC),

which was designed specifically for the Navy by the Naval Safety Center and the MSF. The purpose of the MSRC is to teach riders the functional differences between sport bikes and non-sport bikes. It also covers specific attitudes and behaviors required to ride a sport bike responsibly and safely. This course is required Navy-wide in order to operate a Sport bike on any naval installation.

 

The MSF American Automobile Association Driver Improvement Course (AAA-DIP)

is an eight hour course required for military and DoD civilian personnel if they operate a government motor vehicle (GMV) as their primary duty, or they operate a GMV more than eight hours a week as part of their incidental duties; or they have been convicted of a serious moving traffic violation while operating a GMV or who have been determined to be at fault in a traffic mishap while on/off base; or they have been convicted of a serious moving traffic violation while operating a private motor vehicle (PMV) or who have been determined to be at fault in a traffic mishap while on a DoN installation; or they are a military member age 25 or under and have not received their initial four hour traffic safety training.

 

The Traffic Safety Coordinator has also created a Motorcycle Riders Safety Council (MRSC), open to all riders. The MRSC is broken up into two committees. The Mentorship Committee works to eliminate the risk-taking attitude problems so prevalent among riders. They set up fun rides, help with motorcycle fairs and organize rider clubs. The Focus Committee discusses and resolves problems and safety issues and works to make the MRSC the best motorcycle program in the Navy. For more information on any of these programs, contact the Region Traffic Safety Coordinator at 396-4250. Check out all off the above programs on the Web.

 

Specific traffic rules for Naval 
Base Kitsap installations include:

Individuals are not authorized to run, jog, or walk in the roadways during high traffic density and peak traffic periods.

 

Personnel jogging on an installation roadway shall jog facing oncoming traffic, in single file, and obey traffic rules.

 

Skateboards, roller-skates, roller-blades and other similar equipment may only be used on base when used in approved areas. Proper PPE, to minimally include head protection, shall be worn by all personnel.

 

Bicycle operators riding on an installation roadway shall ride with the traffic, in single file, obeying traffic rules while properly wearing brightly colored reflective clothing between sunset and sunrise and wearing a bicycle helmet approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or Snell Memorial Foundation at all times. All active duty military personnel shall wear an approved bicycle helmet on/off a Navy installation.

 

Required safety equipment for bicycles will include working brakes and reflectors. Additionally, for bicycles ridden between sunset and sunrise, a white light on the front with the light being visible from a distance of at least 500 feet, and a red reflector on the rear that is visible at a distance of at least 600 feet is required. These lights may be steady burning or blinking. Additionally, bright clothing including vests, caps, and ankle and wrist straps, with retro-reflective materials incorporated in them is required to make the bicyclists more noticeable.

 

Wearing portable headphones, earphones, cellular hands-free devices, bipods or other listening devices while running, jogging, walking, bicycling, skating or skate boarding in roadways and streets impairs recognition of emergency signals, alarms, announcements and the approach of emergency vehicles. Use of these devices while performing the noted activities on Navy installations is prohibited.

 

Gas-powered or electric mini-bikes, pocket bikes, or motorcycles that do not meet DOT motor vehicle standards will not be used on Navy installation roadways.

 

Do not use any hand-held cellular phone while operating a moving vehicle, except for Fire and Emergency Response or Law enforcement/Security purposes. The prohibition against using handheld cellular phones includes hands-free cellular phone devices that require the use of portable headphones, earphones, or other listening devices worn inside the ear canal, around or covering the ear. The prohibition does not include handsfree cellular phone devices that are console/dashmounting or otherwise secured cellular phones with integrated features such as voice-activation, speed dial, speakerphone or other similar technology for sending and receiving calls.

 

Do not utilize Handheld Wireless phones while operating DoD Government owned or leased vehicles either on or off base.

 

Washington State

Driver/Vehicle Licensing Resident Driving Privileges

All resident drivers of Washington, driving a motor vehicle on public roadways in Washington State, must have either a valid Washington State driver’s license or instruction permit in their possession.

 

Non-Resident Driving Privileges

A resident of another state, who is at least 16 years old, must be in possession of a current driver’s license from their home state. Also eligible are residents of other states who are at least 15 years old and in possession of a valid instruction permit issued by their home state. The instruction permit is valid only when a licensed driver with at least five years driving experience is seated beside them.

 

A residence could be where you:

  • Establish a permanent home in the state
  • Are registered to vote
  • Receive state benefits
  • Apply for any state license
  • Seek in-state tuition fees

 

A Washington driver’s license issued to a service member, or the spouse or dependent child living with the service member, remains in effect while the person is serving in the armed forces. On the face of the Washington State driver’s license, in the place reserved for an expiration date, it will read MILITARY. If you have a driver’s license with a military expiration, or a regular license that remains in effect during the period of service even though the expiration date on the face of the license has passed, you should carry your active duty card as evidence that the license is valid.

 

License Plates

If you are active duty military, you have two choices for license plates: Washington, or your home-of-record state. If your vehicle carries plates from a foreign country or a state other than Washington or your home-of-record state, you have 60 days after you arrive to get Washington State plates or register your vehicle in your home state.

 

If your vehicle is being licensed in Washington for the first time, the State Patrol must verify the vehicle identification number before you can buy plates.

 

Mandatory Insurance

If you operate a motor vehicle in Washington State, you must have liability insurance and carry with you an insurance identification card verifying you have a valid vehicle liability insurance policy.

 

Drivers of government vehicles, motorcycles and common or contract carrier vehicles are exempt from this insurance requirement.

 

Motorcycle Endorsement

Washington law requires that all motorcycle operators pass the motorcycle knowledge and skill tests. These tests are in addition to the regular automobile driver license tests. However, if you have completed an approved basic motorcycle rider course, you may bring your completion card to any Licensing Service Office within 90 days, take the knowledge test and the skill test will be waived.

 

In addition, motorcycle operators must have a Navy recognized Motorcycle Safety Certificate prior to being issued a base decal. For more information on driver and vehicle licensing in the State of Washington, visit the Department of Licensing website.

 

Drinking and Driving

Washington State’s drunk driving laws are some of the toughest enforced anywhere in the United States. The blood-alcohol limit in Washington is 0.08. Washington laws give police more power when arresting people charged with DUI. They can suspend driver’s licenses, impound vehicles and pursue drivers across state lines.

 

Many of the laws were designed to make sentences tougher on DUI offenders, especially repeat DUI offenders. A first offense carries a minimum sentence of a day in jail plus a $350 fine and the loss of your driver’s license for 90 days. A second conviction carries a minimum sentence of up to a week in jail, plus a fine and the loss of your driver’s license for one year. In addition, you will be required to attend a mandatory drug and alcohol course and mandatory evaluation course. Washington laws also prescribe ignition interlock and electronic home monitoring as additional sanctions for DUI drivers. The offender is required to pay the cost of the ignition interlock rental which is about $2 per day; electronic home monitoring costs the offender between $10 and $15 per day.

 

The Department of Licensing will keep DUI convictions on record for 15 years, meaning the offender’s insurance rates will be adversely affected for 15 years.

 

The state and local police and the Navy urge the use of a designated driver, and, further, local naval commands offer a program called “safe ride home.” The safe ride home program is for all active duty members. Its hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. and all day Friday through Sunday. For a safe ride home call (360) 396-6539.

 

 

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