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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

Camp Pendleton boosts motorcycle safety awareness

By Cpl. Brianna Christensen | | May 8, 2014


Marines and sailors attended a motorcycle safety seminar held at the base theatre May 8.

May is motorcycle safety awareness month, and the seminar was held to kick off this year’s motorcycle safety campaign and to ensure the Marines and sailors on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton understand the dangers of riding motorcycles.

“The focus of this year’s campaign is to share the road,” said Blain Bromwell, the Marine Corps Installations West and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton safety manager. “So the importance of this class is to show everyone that motorcycles exist on the road. We want to make sure the road is just as safe for riders as it is for cars.”

The seminar began with a speech from Lieutenant General John A. Toolan Jr., the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force. He told the audience about an accident he had been in when a motorcycle hit his car. He expressed the importance of doing the speed limit and wearing the proper clothing while riding.

“We have lost more Marines due to motorcycle accidents this fiscal year than we have in Afghanistan,” said Toolan. “It is so important to ensure we are following the laws of the road and looking out for each other on the road.”

There is nothing wrong with riding motorcycles as long as the riders are being safe and not breaking the law, said Jim Bettencourt, the public information officer for the California Highway Patrol, Oceanside area.

“Being on base is like a completely different world,” said Bettencourt. “Everyone is doing the speed limit, no one is on their cell phones, but as soon as you cross that threshold it is like someone is waving a checkered flag.”

“There is no such thing as an accident on the road,” said Bettencourt. “When something goes wrong it is because someone was doing something they shouldn’t have been doing behind the wheel.”

“California is a beautiful place to ride motorcycles, but it is heartbreaking to have to tell families, friends and units that they lost a Marine or sailor because they weren’t taking the proper precautions on the road,” Bettencourt said.