The U.S. Marine Corps has long had a problem with vehicle accidents.
So now every marine has to use seat belts, on and off duty. Marine training
emphasizes aggressiveness and speed, and too many marines carry that over to
off-duty activities, especially driving. For example, one of the first marine
regiments to land in Vietnam in the 1960s, didn't see much combat for its first
six months. One of the commanders noted, when looking at reports, that the
marines had suffered more losses (mostly from automobile accidents), in the six
months previous to heading for Vietnam, than it did from combat action during
its first six months in Vietnam. It was the difference between marching through
the bush, and speeding down the highway. The casualty situation soon changed (the
marines actually took more casualties during the Vietnam war, than they had
during World War II).
traffic accident situation has improved over the years, but operations in Iraq
have led to many marines acquiring some dangerous driving habits. In Iraq,
troops are taught to drive very fast, and avoid any suspicious Iraqi vehicles.
Such a license to "hot rod" leaves it mark, and many marines return stateside
with some lethal driving habits, and a tendency to not buckle up (thus making
it easier leap out and join the firefight.) Thus the new rules, which carry
severe punishment for those who do not comply.