MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
It is now mandatory for dirt bike and all-terrain vehicle owners to attend a dirt bike and all-terrain vehicle safety class before operating the vehicle, according to Marine Corps Order 5100.19F.
The safety classes for dirt bikes and ATVs are much like the existing Basic Rider Course for motorcycles, and have been in existence for some time now.
The big change with the recently released order is that now all owners of dirt bikes and ATVs must take the course. Previously, it was only a strongly suggested course if there was an on-base track for riders.
The Combat Center is now equipped with instructors to teach the courses.
“We now have seven dirt bike instructors and six ATV instructors,” said Bob Piirainen, manager Traffic Safety Program, Base Safety. “We’ve also put in the paperwork for a track to be built on base.”
The two off-road riders courses are an introduction in how the off-road vehicles work and how to safely operate them.
“We have guys who are experienced riders who still learn a lot from the class,” Piirainen said. “We want riders to learn to properly ride their off-road vehicles and be safe.”
The dirt bike and ATV courses are also available to dependents as well. Children at least the age of six can take the course.
Off-road sports are gaining popularity in the West Coast for the Marine Corps, and there is now more opportunity for mishap, Piirainen said.
“We’ve had guys go to private off-road track and ride with professional riders,” Piirainen said. “We want to set up more opportunities like that and give off-roaders a place to ride.
Another change the MCO 5100.19F instituted is a mandatory safety class for land utility vehicles. The safety office is working on starting that project soon.
Base Safety is still working on completing the requirements for being able to offer those classes a swell.
Dirt bike and ATV riders can contact Base Safety, building 1447 to sign up for the required classes and by calling 830-6154 or stopping by their offices.