Protecting yourself on a motorcycle: What is required? What is encouraged?

Compiled by Stephen Baack, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs

Do you know what kind of personal protective equipment you are required to wear while riding a motorcycle? Because requirements can differ depending on whether you are a Soldier, U.S. civilian or local national on post or off post, these rules can seem confusing. Read the story to find out which personal-protective equipment is required for you. (Photo by Stephen Baack, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

Do you know what kind of personal protective equipment you are required to wear while riding a motorcycle? Because requirements can differ depending on whether you are a Soldier, U.S. civilian or local national on post or off post, these rules can seem confusing. Read the story to find out which personal-protective equipment is required for you. (Photo by Stephen Baack, USAG Ansbach Public Affairs)

ANSBACH, Germany (June 15, 2015) — Do you know what kind of personal protective equipment you are required to wear while riding a motorcycle? Because requirements can differ depending on whether you are a Soldier, U.S. civilian or local national on post or off post, these rules can seem confusing.

Below is a list of requirements that cover on-post requirements for everyone, as well as on- and off-post requirements for Soldiers.

Everyone riding a motorcycle on post must wear:

– A helmet properly fastened under the chin. Helmets must meet the standards set by the American National Standards Institute, the Snell Memorial Foundation Standards, the Institut für Zweiradsicherheit e.V. (Institute for Two-Wheel Safety), or the Economic Commission of Europe for bicycle helmets.

– Eye protection, which must meet the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission Regulation standards or the European equivalent. Eye protection must be impact- or shatter-resistant goggles or a full-face shield properly attached to the helmet. A windshield or eyeglasses alone are not proper eye protection.

– Over-the-ankle footwear. Footwear should be made of sturdy leather and have a good oil-resistant sole to reduce slipping hazards. Service boots meet this requirement.

– Long-sleeved shirt or jacket

– Full-length trousers

– Full-fingered gloves or mittens made from leather or other abrasion-resistant material

Soldiers on or off post:

– Whether on or off post, Soldiers assigned to Army in Europe units will wear a vest, jacket, upper outer garment, or motorcycle clothing that incorporates fluorescent and highly reflective material at all times when operating or riding as a passenger on the vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, motorbikes, all-terrain vehicles, or similar vehicles), both on and off post regardless of local civilian requirements. Military uniforms, including Army physical fitness test wear that is designed to be reflective, do not meet this criterion.

U.S. civilians and Family members on post:

– Civilian employees (including contractors but excluding local-national employees) and family members must wear fluorescent and reflective outer garments at all times when operating or riding as a passenger while on U.S. Army installations and are highly encouraged to wear off the installation.

Host-nation employees and all others on post:

– Personnel other than those described (such as host-nation employees) are highly encouraged to wear a vest, jacket, upper garment or motorcycle clothing that incorporates fluorescent and highly reflective material at all times when operating or riding as a passenger on the vehicles while on U.S. Army installations.

– All motorcycle operators and passengers must ensure reflective outer garments are properly secured, clearly visible and not covered. The lightweight mesh physical training vest is not authorized to be worn as a fluorescent and reflective vest on vehicles; the vest may, however, be used to cover a backpack, but must be secured. All motorcycle passengers must follow the same requirements as the appropriated driver (military, local national, etc.).

Off-post riders who are not military personnel:

Those who operate motorcycles off post must comply with the skills training, licensing and permit requirements of their host nation and/or Status of Forces agreement.

For a recent U.S. Army Europe memorandum on what to wear on a motorcycle, visit https://aepubs.army.mil/pdfpubs/CM2015-024.pdf. To access Army in Europe Regulation 190-1 (Driver and Vehicle Requirements and the Installation Traffic Code for the U.S. Forces in Germany), visit https://aepubs.army.mil/pdfpubs/AER190-1.pdf.

For more information on equipment and licensing requirements for operators of motorcycles, mopeds, motor scooters and all-terrain vehicles, refer to Army Regulation 385-10 (Nov. 27, 2013), The Army Safety Program, 11–9, Page 68: www.apd.army.mil/pdffiles/r385_10.pdf.

For other questions about PPE requirements, call the USAG Ansbach Safety Office at 0981-183-1670/7594 or DSN 468-1670/7594.

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