Marines must register motorcycles
By Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Friday, May 2, 2008

WASHINGTON — Marines who own motorcycles must register them with
commanders or face punishment, under new rules outlined by the Corps
this week.

In a servicewide message, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway
the change was prompted by “alarming” rates of accidents among
riders in
recent months.

Eight Marines have died in motorcycle accidents since the start of the
fiscal year, and in fiscal 2007, 19 Marines were killed, the highest
yearly total since the Corps began keeping track in the mid-1990s.

“Recent trends indicate a culture of noncompliance among younger
in particular sport-bike riders,” Conway wrote. “These trends fall
of the professionalism I expect from all Marines.”

Previously, any Marine who bought a motorcycle was required to undergo
safety training for the vehicle, including classes on proper driving
wear of personal protection equipment.

But officials said they had no way of tracking whether those who owned
motorcycles were actually getting those classes, since Marines who kept

their vehicles off base didn’t have to report them to unit leaders.

Under the new rules, all Marines who buy a motorcycle have 48 hours to
notify their commanding officers, so they can confirm the proper
licenses, insurance and training are taken care of. Those who ignore
rules can face disciplinary action, at the unit commander’s

“Motorcycle ownership is a significant responsibility,” Conway
“Prior to purchasing a motorcycle, all Marines will consult with
leadership in advance to be certain that they are aware of the
responsibilities that come with ownership.”

The new rules apply to Marines worldwide, officials said. Marines can
also face punishment if they are caught riding without helmets, or
caught not using their seatbelt in other vehicles.

Defense Department rules mandate safety training and protective
equipment for all military motorcycle riders, but so far the Marines
the only service to require registration of the vehicles with
installation commanders.