Free Essay Sample «Practicum: Motorcycle Safety»

«Practicum: Motorcycle Safety»

1.1  Background

Over the recent past, motorcycle use in the security upfront has been on the upscale. Indeed, it has become a common feature in the military fronts but its intended results have been crippled by the malpractices in motorcycling. Additionally, despite the increased level of awareness on safety precautions, the level of adversities in motorcycle is still high. This therefore necessitates immediate actions to be taken in order to arrest the situation and cut down on the losses that result. In particular, there has been a vast loss of trained man power within the military. Take the unit that I’m assigned to for example. We had experienced five motorcycle related incidents within two periods, creating substantial losses in insurance and investments due to our specialized training.

There are however various directives and laws that govern the safety of motorcycles within the scope of Southern California. Such regulations are meant to reduce the catastrophic impact of motorcycle use. The authorities have come up with regulations that have stepped forward to curb the impact of poor use of the motorcycles. In particular, there has been reportedly high influx of military related motorcycling accidents in South California. In essence, the motorcycle riders’ safety agencies have been in vigorous campaigns towards minimization of the accidents

This research will focus on the law enforcement agencies that have been actively involved regulating motorcycle use in South California as far as the military is concerned. Besides this, the research will also explore the various provisions that courses that pertain to motorcycle and other motorized cycles safety are concerned. The paper will also explore the concept behind the perception of motorcycles riders with regard to motorcycle safety and the military leaders as well. In summation this paper will therefore explore viable solutions towards reducing motorcycle accidents in the South California through the subjective contribution of the entire stakeholders in the military front.

Significance of the Study

Motor cycle accidents have been on the rise in America. Indeed, it has been reportedly one of the most often and deadliest crimes in the US. In particular, 2006 recorded a total of 13, 000 people who died at the scene of highway crashes resulting from drivers and motorcycle operators. However, it has also been noted that majority of the accidents results from motorcycle operators with malpractices of illicit Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), at times recording beyond 0.8. This therefore has resulted in escalating levels of crimes that has necessitated the federal intervention through strict measures that aims at minimizing the level of motorcycle-related accidents.

However, very little has been achieved by the policies that has been developed and the result is perpetuated loss of lives in the scenes of accidents. In particular, there has been an escalating accidents level in the navy motorcycling as well as in the Marine Corps that has spark an irrefutable necessity to put in place measures that will combat the escalating loss of trained military personnel, and help reduce any unnecessary added expenses related to an accident. 

Problem Statement

There has been a tremendous rise in motorcycle-related fatalities in the military front and the entire state that has necessitated immediate measures to be taken in order to mitigate the problem besides improving the traffic in the entire state.  Over the recent period, the reported cases of motor riders’ accidents in the military fronts have been quite devastating. However, the military official of the US government have been aggressively involved in instigating viable measures of reducing the losses accruing to motorcycles accidents particularly within the discipline. However, a lot remains undone to completely resolve the perpetual losses incurred through the motorcycle accidents.  In particular, the Department of Defense (DoD) of the US reported a total of 124 motorcycle riders who lost their lives through motorcycling accidents in the 2008 fiscal year. In essence, the army recorded the highest loss recording 51officers; while the navy and Marine Corps recorded 33 and 25 officers respectively.

However, the air force was reportedly improving in enforcing motorcycle safety measures which recorded a total of 15 motorcycle fatalities which was the highest improvement since 2001. Some of the improvement can however be attributable to the collaborative aspect tasks of the Coast Guard Officials and the four major military branches. Consequently, the losses accruing to motorcycling fatalities have been on the rise despite the heavy costs of insurance that face the disciplined forces of the US. Therefore, the record of motorcycle-related fatalities is still spiking in the military discipline and hence an irrefutable needs to arrive at a long-lasting solution to the problem. Furthermore, there has been a discrepancy in the training projection and the programs that has been launched to inculcate motorcycling skills such as the California Motorcycle Safety Program (CMSP).

1.3  Research Questions

(i). what are the statistical value of motorcycle related accidents within the sample space?

(ii). what are the policies and other safety measures that has been put in place to mitigate the problem of motorcycle-related mishaps particularly in the military discipline.

(iii). What is the core of training programs aimed at reducing motorcycle related fatalities?

(iv).what can be done to improve motorcycle safety particularly in the military base of Southern California?

Chapter Two: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

There has been a rising incidences of motorcycle accidents in the Southern California and the US in general. In essence, the military has been one of the badly hit disciplines that have recorded a significant loss in trained personnel and the accruing insurance debt to cover accidents and other related expenses. As a result, there have been various measures that have been put in place with a view to alleviate the problem. Among them has been increased training on the motorcycle riding safeties that has seen a minute reduction in the fatalities.

However, in the recent past, the military has recorded a spiking number of motorcycle-related accidents and the measures taken seems to have very minimal relief despite the heavy investments in training on road safeties for the motorcycling  within the entire discipline and beyond. Consequently, this has led to increased demand for search for viable ways that would trim down military losses accruing to motorcyclist accidents and improve the motorcycle safety in the process[1].

2.2 Empirical Literature

The records of motorcycles accidents and the resultant losses continue to rise despite the heavy investments in safety measures within the military front. For instance, in 2008, the navy recorded 49 per cent rise in motorcycle fatalities. In addition, the number of motorcycle riders in both Marine Corps and the Navy exceeded the total number of drivers killed in both Combat and automobiles. On the other hand, the number of army officers who died as a result of motorcycle related accidents rose from the 2007 record by 24 per cent. However, report shows that the number of people killed in the accidents were in sport bikes compared to other type of motorcycles. In 2012, the death toll of both the Navy and the Marine Corps comprised of 88 per cent riding on the sport bikes as well. The deaths record is an attribution of perhaps one of the major events of the military due to poor measures that has been taken to combat the issue. Indeed, the army officials have been on the forefront to perpetuate such malpractices that results in motorcycle accidents with minimal if any measures in place to prevent the unnecessary accidents. However, of late, the military officials have sprang forth to combat the accidents and perpetuate prevention measures that would see the reduction of the total accidents in the field and set a relief in the entire discipline[2].

To achieve this goal, the army officials have set up new measures including campaigns and internet novel stories. In addition to that other measures that have been put in place to revamp the motorcycle safety include the advanced new training which has also been rolled out. Indeed, there has been seen as a departure from the old policies abiding with the military. As pointed out by Louis Gossett an army official through a film in 1982, who baselessly reported that Officers do not use motorcycle as a means of transportation, there has been an increased dependency on the motorcycles by officers. Of late however, there has been an inevitable practice and is conventionally being referred to as an ‘amazingly’ pastime within limits. In this regard, the military officials are putting forth the requisite measures through motivation of officers over safer practices within the motorcycle use[3]. Furthermore, various impositions have been formulated in order to beef up the efficiency of motorcycling. These include heavy legal penalties such as loss of benefits from the involvement in crash by an officer caught up on the wrong side in the dispensation of their duty[4].

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2.2.1Central Measures that Military Force have put in Place

However, other than the efforts made by the civil society in the US with regard to motorcycle safety, the military leaders have been indisputably recommended for extra combatant ability towards motorcycle fatalities. Indeed, it has been observed that the leaders have been gradually adapting to measures specific to the discipline in the sense of risk management techniques which are further propagated in the motorcycle training programs. In this regard, the military has further adopted a centralized command in the sense of a Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Indeed, this acts as supplemental regulations to the ordinary statutory laws.  Among the main regulations include the use of safe gears, helmets, sufficient training besides other measures. Other than that, the top official have trudged forward to open communication lines with their counterparts, power sport industry which is meant to relay important information concerning the careless riding upon which legal penalties would be imposed[5].

On account of these various military safety chiefs have been hosting important meetings with the motorcycle manufacturers with a view to drilling resolution for the motorcycle fatalities. This has seen the involvement of the power sports in campaigns against heavy influx of motorcycle accidents. For instance, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda have been the active participants where Yamaha produced a print ad that further propagated safety campaigns.

In the recent past, the top safety chiefs of the main branches of Department of Defense entered into a collaborative venture to resolve the motorcycle accidents through the Joint Services and Safety Council (JSSC) located in San Diego. In all their endeavors, the military leaders have been finding it unfruitful to challenge the riders but rather engage them in purported training through advanced safety of motorcycling. According to the report by the senior civilian and a safety engineer Sir Peter Hill, there are more than a third of the Marines who owns motorcycles but defies their subsequent registration. This makes follow up of accident causing motorcycles and therefore perpetuates motorcycle related accidents. In addition to that there has been reportedly a high number of ‘underground riders’ within the army who go unquestioned while the military leaders remain reluctant to stop the behavior. In this way, this has continued to undermine the efforts to reduce motorcycle-related fatalities[6].

In addition to that the motorcycle accidents have further been propagated by individual’s officers who have resolved to buying ‘heavy’ motorcycles with more than 1000 cc. indeed, the Marine Corps do not put any tangible measure to prevent inexperienced motorcycle riders from using high powered models which has indisputably resulted in perpetuated fatalities. Furthermore, there has been the notion that army war veterans who survive battle in the line of duty come back and treat it as a reward by acquisition of motorcycle in absence of training on riding with a view to maintain the adrenaline rush which result in more than an anticipated crash. However, the military official denies the occurrence of such instances and therefore the continued motorcycle fatalities that could be otherwise prevented if careful measures could have been taken in advance. However, the military offers a refresher course instead and emphasizes on advanced training for all[7].

The military also makes specialized sports events which are also compulsory for all the sport bike riders. In essence, this contributes to the highest toll of motorbike fatalities and attributable to poor policies in line with the army programs. According to the founder of California super bike school, the marines are the renowned ‘experts’ in super bikes riding as opposed to the general riding habits by both the army and the Air Force which has equally resulted in increased rampancy of motorcycling fatalities. Indeed, there has been increased tag of war between the sport bikes riding skills provider. There has been however other subsidiary trainers who have set in to offer sport bike basic training such as the MSF sport bike riding training program. . The core trainer in the latter has had been Marine Corps but the standards of training have been declining due to intervention of other uncertified trainers. As a result, this has been another contributor to the increasing fatalities in the sport bike riding[8].

Therefore, insufficient training has been one of the major issues that have been identified as the course of motor cycle. One of the basic training agencies in motorcycling is the California Superbike School and the Marine Corps. Indeed, the two have been conducting refreshing courses in the air stations on the East Coast. Furthermore, extensive training programs are conducted the Western Coast by various training agency such as Lee Parks’ Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic which propagates advanced skills in motorcycle riding particularly for the military personnel. Besides that, there have been a very small number of personnel who have gone through the requisite training on the motorcycle training programs. In particular, it is reported that of the total 12000  Navy Sport bike riders, only a total of 4000 have undergone the factual training on the motorcycle riding despite the high number that is recorded to have engaged in riding. Furthermore, the training programs has also been leveraged with poor approaches where the learners are taken through by use of very advanced motorcycles of about 600 and 1000cc, which are fatal to their acquisition of the skills[9].

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2.2.3 Other Causes of Motorcycle Fatalities in the Military and the State

Besides inadequate training, alcohol is the second irrefutable cause of motorcycle crash in the US.  For instance, the 2006 highway crash records. In essence, the number of motorist who lost their lives in the highway crashes was at 4,810. Consequently, this indicates the number of motorcycle riders accounted for more than 11 per cent of all the US road fatalities in the year 2006. In addition to that, the number of motorcycle accidents that involved other vehicle accounted for 55 per cent of all motorcycle fatalities. Over the same year, the number of motorcycle accidents involving passenger vehicle that occurred on an interstate highway accounted for 93 per cent, while similar accidents which assumed the feature of intersection crashes accounted for 51 per cent[10].

On account of the above it’s clear that motorcycling accidents have been a major killer and results from the carelessness of the road users, particularly the motorcycle riders. However, all the blame may not be exercised on the motorcycles but rather the authorities that have been non-responsive to the incidences. Additionally, the accidents can further be attributed to the inadequacy of training which has farther fastened the problem. The military has been irresponsive to the ever increasing motorcycle accidents involving the disciplined forces and therefore the excessive rise in the recorded fatalities.

2.3 Laws and Regulations Pertaining to Motorcycling Safety

There are various laws and regulations that have been set up to combat the spread of the motorcycle-related accidents. This has however been perpetuated through the California Motorcycle Safety Program (CMSP) which has seen the enforcement of several safety measures. In particular, the lane splitting is legal in the state of California. However, the splitting comes alongside some limits. Lane splitting is advocated for the riders who are competent enough and ones who can do it under certain guidelines. For instance, lane splitting is should be limited to low speeds and guided by the speed differentials of the other motorists. This therefore translates to self control of the individual motorcyclist. Consequently, the carelessness of the motorcyclist or the incompetency can hardly be detected by the authority as it is hard to identify competent motorcyclist on the highways until an accident has occurred[11]. In concern for motorcycle safety law, the practice of lane splitting on all naval installations within became illegal in 2012 by a command directive.

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The policies of the California are therefore less strict to competence and therefore contribute greatly tridents involving the motorcycles. In essence, the Motorcycle Safety Program advocates for the 4 Rs or the ‘Be-Attitudes’ techniques of lane splitting. This refers to; be Reasonable; be respectful; be aware of the vast traffic situation and Roadway as well as being Responsible. In essence, these facts revolve around the use of common sense that the careless motorcyclists may intentionally violate. In this regard, the California presumably imposes very strict rules and regulations on the motorists protecting the motorcyclist but neglects the law motorcyclists. For instance, the California illegalizes the driving motorist to split lanes as freely as the motorcyclists. This acts as an incentive for the motorcyclists to perpetuate their discordance and result in uncalled for accidents.

In summation, the California enforcement department was established in the year 1929 with the main purpose of maintaining efficient surge of traffic via the vehicle code. However, since then, there have been various improvements in the laws that have seen the formulation of the California Highway Patrol through the California State Police. The main responsibilities of the law enforcement agency by then were the investigation of crimes against state personnel and state property. Consequently, there has been perpetuated negligence on the public road safety particularly the regulations pertaining to motorcycling and the stakeholders therein.

2.4 Other Measures

Besides the overall rules and regulative from the naval directives, the naval also directs that motorcycle riders should also enhance use of Personal Protection Equipments (PPE) such as helmets, pants and gloves. Besides that, motorcycle riders should also have reflector cloths which increase their visibility at night by fellow road users. The military also ensures that any license is given to persons after pursuing riding class and passing while after buying personal bikes, the person must also undertake supplementary training within the first one month. The sport bike riders attend specific sport bike classes. However, the army encounters problems in convincing people to attend training classes.

To enhance the process, the army established a program known as ESAMS which encourages individuals to sign up for classes while at the same time reminds them of the time for such refresher classes. Furthermore, with the advancement in technology, the military also use CAC cards to detect the competence of a motorcyclist and therefore the undertaking of necessary measures that would combat the increasing participation of non-competent and untrained riders.

Further support on training was backed up by a couple of trainers namely the DOD courses and the CSMP course. Indeed, the DOD courses were offered free of charge thus encouraging more people to participate in the training. Furthermore, the trainers were friendly and accommodative to the trainees thus encouraging more participation. Finally, the motorcyclist trainees also undergo an overall refreshing process in review of the training projection with respect to the actual coverage of the course aimed at promoting high level of competencies in practice.

Chapter Three: Methodology

3.1  Introduction

This research focuses on a wide scope of knowledge through the exploration of the motorcycle safety in the military discipline of the US and gives particular attention to the region of Southern California. In particular, the study sought to explore the various policies that are put in place to combat the instances of road carnage involving the motorcycle or the motorcycle-related fatalities. Consequently, it therefore gives particular attention to the policies, laws and regulations that perhaps leads to perpetuated losses within the service as a result of the motorcycling inefficiencies and therefore give some prospected safety precautions that would lead to reduced instances of motorcycle-related accidents.

3.1 Research Design

This research will be conducted in the region south of California where the incidences of motorcycle mishaps are quite high. However, the wider perspective in that the motorcycle safety touches on all the road users and not just isolated to the military, the research will therefore conduct a general search of the situation on the ground through face to face interaction with the motorcycle riders, law enforcement agencies as well as the military leaders. In addition to that, the research will also examine the Personal protective equipments (PPE) and the emphasis that they have been given in ensuring motorcycle safety in pursuit of motorcycle safety and minimizing the motorcycling fatalities. Besides this, the research will also make elusive steps to explore the Naval Safety Center which is charged with ensuring motorcycling safety and therefore a significant source of the requisite information.

Finally, the researcher will also participate in a motorcycling safety courses in order to understand the perception of the industry over the rising instances of motorcycling fatalities and the roles that the trainers are playing towards mitigating the aspects of motorcycle-related accidents. This will therefore enable the research to accumulate facts on the training projection and the requisite intervention that need be put in place as a resolution to the pressing challenge. Furthermore, through the successful interaction with the military leaders and the motorcycle riders, the research will therefore establish the measures that the military discipline is putting in place as a precaution the rising road carnage involving our armed forces and the measures that have been taken to resolve the issue.

3.2  Data Collection Techniques

This research aims at understanding the occurrences of the rampancy and the statistical value of the motorcycle-related fatalities. Besides that, the research will seek to understand the laws and regulation that are in place set to narrow down the instances of crash. Consequently, the research will involve a wide deal of interviews with the stakeholders in the motorcycling field within the sample space. In particular, the research will seek to conduct intensive face-to-face interviews with the military leaders and the motorcycle riders both within the military and beyond. In this regard, the research will explore the measures that have been taken to improve motorcycling safety within the military platform and reduce the cost and losses incurred by the discipline through the perpetuated losses resulting from such instances.

Furthermore, the research will also examine the individual perception of the Army, Marine Corps and the Air Force officers with respect to the issue of motorcycle safety besides collecting their individual perception on what need be done to mitigate the losses. The researcher will also seek to understand the effect of the motorcycle accidents on the Insurance agencies and frequencies of reported instances and the cost implication this has on the military. Additionally, taking part in the motorcycle safety classes will add up to additional information concerning the safety measure already in place and create an avenue of imposing more directive that would lead to controlled motorcycle use within the entire fraternity of the military.

Besides that, this research will also embark on intensive document review which will enable it collect information from the documentaries pertaining to laws and regulations governing the field of motorcycle safety. This will enable the researcher to gather requisite information on the pre-existing laws and regulations and therefore establish the probable loop holes that perhaps acts as the main cause of the protracted incidences of accidents. As a result, the research will be able to establish the link between private mechanisms and the general federal mechanisms that have been put in place so far and therefore form a base mark for the formulation of the realistic intervention within the field. The documentary review will take the perspective of scrutiny of the military singular interventions and the coordination of the latter with the federal interventions. This will therefore set a foundation upon which the necessary intervention may be laid down in order to control the form a long-lasting solution to the problem of motorcycling safety in the military base and perhaps an extension of the same to the rest of the road users.

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Finally, the research will also examine the roles of the motorcycling trainers in promoting motorcycle safety. Indeed, it will briefly focus on the modes of training with regard to the motorcycles used in training and the effectiveness of same. Furthermore, the research will also enquire from the trainers such as the Marine Corps with on the credibility of the training and the measures that are taken to enhance standards other than the obvious modes of propagating the ordinary skills other than what is relevant for public exploits. By virtue of this extension, the research will provide vital recommendations that will see the improvement of standards within the motorcycling training. In summation further data will be collected from the vast region of study through issuing of rigid questionnaires which will form a pool of additional information particularly from other motorcycle riders outside the scope of the disciplined forces.

3.3  Result and Expectations

The study clearly unveils the weaknesses in the enforcement of military regulations that restrains the military motorcyclist from illegal riding and the never ending struggle’s of the military leaders to ensure the full implementation and compliance of the laws and directives. Besides having the federal laws, the military have other skillful techniques that are risk averse but the enforcement of such is virtually in absentia. For instance, the military is highly endowed with risk management techniques that would add up to the motorcycle safety management procedures. That many of the younger rider tends to ignore all in the pursuit of that rush.   On the contrary, the impact of these skills is ideally not realized until an incident strikes. Therefore, through the outcomes of this research, it is expected that the military will appreciate the findings and use it to develop viable policies that will restrain motorcycling fatalities and minimize the resultant losses.

Furthermore, it is also expected that the research will help understand the various policies within the military that pertains to the motorcycle safety and also provide a direction on the formulation of a tracking and enforcement of the policies. Through the findings of this paper, it is expected that the provisions will minimize the motorcycle-related fatalities and beef up motorcycle safety simultaneously. Besides improving the awareness within the military and the individual benefit, the research is expected to minimize the insurance payouts and the overall losses by the military through loss of expensively trained personnel and therefore acute minimization of the overall expenditure of the military through non-profitable interventions. 


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3.4  Recommendation

There exist a total disharmony between the laws and regulations pertaining to the treatment of the motorists and the motorcyclists. The statutory requirement for the motorcyclists places them as special road users which perhaps encourages the cycling. For instance, lane splitting which is provided for by the law for the motorcyclists and regulated by the individual reasoning of the 4Rs concept which restrains it to the experienced and competent motorcyclists, is a major contributor to the motorcycle crashes. To a great extent, the motorcyclists are guided by self actualization since it proves extremely hard to demarcate the experienced from inexperienced motorcyclist until a crash hits. Therefore, the research proposes a thorough review of the statutory laws and regulations pertaining to motorcycle road use and restrains the same to skills and expertise. On the other hand, the military leaders should be on the forefront to ensure that officers engage in motorcycle riding only after the acquisition of the pertinent skills that would minimize road carnage and maximize motorcycle safety. Furthermore, military leaders should refrain from unsafe that exposes the military personnel to unnecessary accidents.

Finally, the state laws should be harmonized with the military provisions in order to boost motorcycle safety. In this regard, the risk management techniques should be incorporated and actively employed in managing motorcycle-related fatalities as far as the entire road safety is concerned. In addition, the military leaders should engage there officers in massive training on the safe use of the motorcycles and the minimization of losses that result from careless use. This can be done through the advancement of training programs and the accreditation of the training organs such as the Marine Corps charged with prowess training on Sport bikes riding. By virtue of this intervention, there will be elimination of substandard trainers who are major contributors towards the ever increasing level of motorcycle related fatalities.



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