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PLR 24-049 - PMV-2 Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

A 21-year-old Specialist assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, died in a PMV-2 mishap in Tacoma, Washington, at local. As the Soldier was approaching an intersection at a high rate of speed, he pulled the front wheel up into a wheelie. When he came down onto two wheels, he struck a vehicle turning left in front of him. The Tacoma police and fire departments arrived at the scene, administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation and transported the Soldier to a local hospital. Upon arrival, he was pronounced dead by the attending physician. The Soldier was properly licensed, wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment and completed the required Motorcycle Safety Foundation training. The unit/safety points of contact are waiting for law enforcement to release its final report.

Since FY19, the Army has lost an average of 28 Soldiers a year to PMV-2 mishaps. This mishap was the 18th PMV-2 fatality of FY24 and above the number of fatalities for the same time last year.

Safety tip

As a rule, stunt riding on public roads is illegal, and riders who ignore the laws may face serious consequences, including significant fines and the loss of their license and possibly their death or the death of others. Irresponsible riders make life harder for the rest of the riding community.

What is Trick Riding?
Trick riding, which is also referred to as stunt riding, refers to a motorcycle driver performing acrobatic maneuvers while operating their motorcycle. Common examples of stunt riding maneuvers include: stoppies, wheelies and burnouts.

What are Stunt Riding Laws?
Stunt riding laws dictate what types of trick riding are illegal. These laws vary by state. For example, the state law in Maine prohibits operating motorcycles without both wheels on the road.

Can I be Charged with Aggressive Driving When Trick Riding?
Yes, because many trick riding activities exhibit behaviors that are classified as this type of driving. Aggressive driving occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle dangerously. An aggressive driver shows a disregard for safety and road laws. These drivers, if convicted, may face criminal charges, probation or a suspended sentence.

What Does Driving Recklessly Mean?
When an individual is facing a charge of driving recklessly, or reckless driving, it means that the driver was operating their motor vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other individuals as well as a willful disregard of the relevant consequences.

Reckless driving is considered a traffic offense which may or may not cause damage to property or automobile accidents. It is often associated with similarly related driving offenses, including DUI/DWI, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol street racing and driving with serious disregard for traffic laws.

A driver is driving recklessly when they are negligent in maintaining reasonable control of their vehicle. A driver’s actions, however, which amount to mere negligence and do not reach the level of willful or wanton disregard for the safety or consequences associated with the operation of their vehicle will not be sufficient to establish reckless driving.

Can I be Charged with Driving Recklessly?
Yes, as it is a type of moving traffic violation. As noted above, this occurs when a driver shows a willful, wanton disregard for public safety.

This type of traffic violation may result in fines and possible jail time.

Can I be Charged with More than Breaking Stunt Riding Laws?
Yes, depending on the circumstances of the case, a motorcyclist may be charged with more serious criminal offenses in addition to breaking stunt riding laws. For example, a motorcyclist may be charged with vehicular homicide if an individual dies as a result of the tricks performed on a motorcycle while riding on public streets.

What if I have been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident or Crash?
If an individual has been involved in a motorcycle accident or crash, they should report the incident to law enforcement, even if that accident occurred as a result of their trick riding. Law enforcement can make a report of the incident.

This report may be used as evidence in court in the event that a lawsuit is filed.


Top 15 Motorcycle Tips for Street Riding Safety
Rider safety basics always bear repeating. What can you add to this list?
By Motorcyclist Magazine

Close your eyes and recall your last ride in heavy traffic. Imagine the vehicles surrounding you, crowding you, cutting you off. Imagine yourself monitoring closing speeds, reading street signs, noticing and anticipating traffic lights. Then imagine guessing what pedestrians will do, or how slippery that painted line might be. And those distracted drivers on their phones… imagine trying to guess what they're going to do.

Riding in traffic can be a nightmare, especially for beginners. Is it any wonder so many motorcyclists crash and burn while riding on congested streets? It's amazing how many different tasks motorcyclists deal with on a normal traffic-choked commute. Doing it successfully means processing a multitude of items at once and reacting correctly to each. Doing it wrong can mean roadkill—the humankind. Here are 15 smart strategies for dealing with traffic-choked streets.

Watch Drivers' Heads and Mirrors
Watching the head movements of drivers through their windows and mirrors is an excellent way to anticipate sudden moves. Most drivers won't lunge left or right without first moving their heads one way or another—even if they don't check their mirrors.

Trust Your Mirrors, But Not Totally
Your bike's mirrors can be lifesavers, but they don't always tell the entire story even if they're adjusted properly. In traffic, always buttress your mirror-generated rear view with a glance over the appropriate shoulder. Do it quickly and you'll add an extra measure of rear-view and blind-spot knowledge to your info-gathering tasks.

Never Get Between a Vehicle and An Off-Ramp
This sounds almost too simple, but drivers who decide to exit at the last-minute kill plenty of riders each year. The simple rule, then, is to never position yourself between a vehicle and an offramp. Passing on the right is generally a no-no, but in this day and age, it's sometimes necessary. So, if you do it, do so between exits or cross streets.

Cover Your Brakes
In traffic, you must often react extra quickly, which means not fumbling for the brake lever or pedal. To minimize reach time, always keep a finger or two on the brake lever and your right toe close to the rear brake pedal. When that cellphone-wielding driver cuts across your path trying to get to the 7-Eleven for a burrito supreme, you'll be ready.

Be Noticed
Make sure drivers and pedestrians can see you, even from a distance. Ditch the all-black attire and wear brightly colored gear, especially your helmet and jacket. Hi-vis yellow suits and jackets are common at every gear shop.

Be Ready with the Power
In traffic, ride in a gear lower than you normally would so your bike is ready to jump forward instantly if asked. Doing so gives you the option of leaping ahead instead of being limited to just using the brakes when that pickup suddenly moves over. The higher revs might also alert more drivers to your presence.

Traffic Slowing? Stay Left—Or Right
When traffic slows suddenly, stay to the left or right of the car in front of you. This will give you an escape route if needed. It will also help keep you from becoming a car-motorcycle sandwich if the driver behind you fails to stop in time. Once you've stopped, be ready: clutch in, your bike in gear, and your eyes on the mirrors. You never know.

Practice The Scan
Constantly scanning your entire environment while riding—from instruments to mirrors, to the road ahead, to blind spots, to your left and right—keeps you aware and in touch with your situation, and therefore better able to react. Dwelling on one area too long—watching only behind or in front of you, for instance—is just begging for trouble.

Left-Turn Treachery
When approaching an oncoming car that's stopped and about to turn left, be ready. Watch the car's wheels or the driver's hands on the steering wheel; if you see movement, be ready to brake, swerve, or accelerate, whichever seems best for the situation.

Study The Surface
Add asphalt conditions to your scan. Be on the lookout for spilled oil, antifreeze, or fuel; it'll usually show up as shiny pavement. Also keep an eye out for gravel and/or sand, which is usually more difficult to see. Use your sense of smell too; often you can smell spilled diesel fuel before your tires discover how slippery the stuff is.

Ride In Open Zones
Use your bike's power and maneuverability to ride in open zones in traffic. In any grouping of vehicles there are always some gaps; find these and ride in them. Doing so will separate you from four-wheelers, give you additional room to maneuver, and allow you to keep away from dangerous blind spots. And vary your speed. Riding along with the flow can make you invisible to other drivers, especially in heavy traffic.

Use That Thumb
Get into the habit of canceling your turn signals often regardless of the traffic situation. A blinking signal might tell drivers waiting to pull into the road or turning left in front of you that you're about to turn when you aren't. Better to wear out the switch than eat a Hummer's hood, eh?

It's Good to Be Thin
A huge advantage single-track vehicles have over four-wheelers is their ability to move left and right within a lane to enable the rider to see what's ahead. Whether you're looking to the side of the cars ahead or through their windshields, seeing what's coming can give you lots of extra time to react.

More Than One Way Out
Yeah, motorcycles fall over. But they're also light, narrow, and hugely maneuverable, so you might as well learn to exploit their strengths when things get ugly, right? So don't just brake hard in a hairball situation. There's almost always an escape route. Swerving into Mrs. Smith's front yard could be a lot better than center-punching the Buick that turned left in front of you. Always have an escape route planned, and update it minute by minute.

Running Interference
This one's easy, and we'll bet most of you already do it: Let larger vehicles run interference for you when negotiating intersections. If the bonehead coming toward you from the left or right is going to blow the light, better they hit the box van next to you, right? For the same reasons, don't lunge through an intersection as soon as the light turns green. Be patient and use the vehicles next to you as cover.



  • 30 April 2024
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 92
  • Comments: 0