Motorcycle season is here Published March 29, 2007 By 22nd Air Refueling Wing Safety office MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Spring is here, and motorcyclists are taking to the streets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than two thirds of fatal motorcycle crashes involve a motorcycle and another vehicle. Often in these cases, motorists hit motorcycles because they either don't see the motorcycles at all, or because they don't see them in time to avoid a crash. Motorists should always be on the lookout for motorcyclists, but they should be especially vigilant now that riding season is here. Motorists should also consider that they can sometimes run over a piece of road debris with no problem; however, motorcyclists who run over that same piece of debris can have deadly results. For this reason, it is best that motorists drive around debris, so motorcyclists behind them are aware of the debris and so the debris is not flung at motorcyclists. Motorists should also keep a safe distance from motorcycles and always use turn signals so motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers know their intentions. Likewise, motorcyclists should do everything n their power to remain visible to motorists. This includes wearing reflective gear, keeping a save distance from motor vehicles and using appropriate turning signals. Motorcyclists should also So far in 2007, the 22nd Air Refueling Wing has had one motorcycle accident. The accident did not involve another vehicle but occurred when a motorcyclist lost control of his bike while driving over loose gravel. Luckily the accident was not fatal, but the motorcyclist did have to get stitches, and he suffered from road rash. Motorcycle safety courses are mandatory for all Air Force military personnel who drive motorcycles. Air Force civilian personnel who ride motorcycles are also required to take safety courses in order to ride on base or ride of base while on duty. Team McConnell family members, retirees and contractors are not required but highly encouraged to enroll in the safety courses. The 22nd ARW Safety office is offering motorcycle safety courses from April to October at McConnell. The Basic Rider Course, a two-day course, will be held April 5-6, May 3-4, June 7-8, Aug. 2-3, Sept. 6-7 and Oct. 4-5. The Experienced Rider Course, an eight-hour course, will be held April 14, April 19, May 17, June 21, Aug. 16, Sept. 20 and Oct. 18. The Experienced Rider Course is geared toward riders who have at least one year of current riding experience and people who have taken the BRC and want to hone their skills. The sport bike class, a one-day class, will be held April 11, May 9, June 13, Aug. 8, Sept. 12 and Oct. 10. The class consists of four hours of classroom instruction, two to three hours of range exercises and an off-base ride. People who sign up for the class should have at least one year of riding experience. For more information, call the safety office at 759-3216, 759-3218 or 759-3075.