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Gunfighters rev up for summer safety

Senior Airman Alexander Hazzard, 366th Communications Squadron motorcycle safety representative, poses with his motorcycle March 21, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Motorcycle safety representatives use the Motorcycle Unit Safety Tracking Tool to manage how many Airmen ride motorcycles.

Senior Airman Alexander Hazzard, 366th Communications Squadron motorcycle safety representative, poses with his motorcycle March 21, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Motorcycle safety representatives use the Motorcycle Unit Safety Tracking Tool to manage how many Airmen ride motorcycles.

Senior Airman Alexander Hazzard, 366th Communications Squadron motorcycle safety representative, rides his motorcycle through Holt Park March 21, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The Air Force has extensive rules in place for motorcycle safety to ensure Airmen stay safe on the road.

Senior Airman Alexander Hazzard, 366th Communications Squadron motorcycle safety representative, rides his motorcycle through Holt Park March 21, 2018, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. The Air Force has extensive rules in place for motorcycle safety to ensure Airmen stay safe on the road.

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The summer months are coming and many motorcyclists from the 366th Fighter Wing are ready to take on the heat.

But before riding off into the sunset, every rider should go through their motorcycle safety representative to make sure they are ready to fire up their bikes during the summer.

"Most people who in-process come through me, and if they ride a motorcycle, I have to place them into a system called Motorcycle Unit Safety Tracking Tool," said Senior Airman Alexander Hazzard, 366th Communications Squadron motorcycle safety representative.

MUSTT helps keep track of how many riders the wing has, what kind of bikes they ride and what briefings the rider has completed.

The annual briefing that Airmen motorcyclists receive on base gives crucial information about risk management, mentorship, road hazards and more.

“It’s important to listen to this briefing, because if you’re going to do something that is dangerous like riding a motorcycle, you need to know how to do it within your ability,” said Tech. Sgt. Joe Woolston, Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider coach.

Though the responsibility falls on everyone to have situational awareness, Woolston, an experienced motorcyclist, believes that motorcyclists should take it upon themselves to make sure they are seen by surrounding drivers.

"I am not a fan of the phrase 'look twice for motorcyclists'," Woolston said. "That would ask drivers to do something extra for me when I'm not asking for that. I just want them to see me the first time. A motorcyclist has to know that they are 100% responsible for what happens to them."

Both Woolston and Hazzard encourage riders to follow all safety guidelines to ensure accidents are kept at a minimal this summer.

"I love riding, it’s fun,” Hazzard said. "At the same time though, you do have to remember that you are at higher risk when you ride versus when you drive."