We’ve harped about our battle to end the ban on youth ATV and motorcycle riding on this blog for months now, and it’s beginning to look like our efforts and the efforts of the American Motorcyclist Association and other pro-powersports organizations are making some serious headway.
This week — somewhere in between votes on debt ceilings — the U.S. House of Representatives found time to approve legislation (by a 421-2 vote) that exempts children’s off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the lead law that bans the sale of these vehicles at the end of 2011.
According to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), the measure won House support on Monday and now heads to the Senate for its consideration. Meanwhile, the Senate is hashing out a similar law (S. 1448), called the Consumer Product Safety Flexibility Act of 2011.
Near unanimous approval of the House legislation is great news for families that participate in off-highway riding, enabling children to participate on vehicles that fit their size. The challenge now is to get both federal bodies to agree on one version of the bill and send it to the President for his signature.
A lead-law exemption for off-road vehicles would permit kids to ride dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles, despite the amount of lead found in such recreational rides. The current Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 bans the manufacture, importation, distribution or sale of any product intended for kids 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part.
We’ve always contended that, yes, bikes contain lead, and no, kids aren’t going to be chewing on their dirt bikes or ATVs. The CPSIA has delayed enforcing the ban until the end of this year, but both legislative bodies must approve an exemption before then.
We have the AMA to thank for Monday’s vote, and we know they’ll be all over the Senate to approve similar legislation. And, in particular, we’d like to thank our J&P customers for responding to our Stop the Ban blog posts on the topic and taking it upon themselves to join the fray and contact their lawmakers.
If you’d like to get involved, and see what the AMA has been doing these past few years to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles from the CPSIA, visit the Kids Just Want to Ride page on the AMA website. Your efforts are paying off. Now it’s one down, one to go, and then a Presidential signature. How hard can that be?