There’s a law out there that’s flying under the radar of most bikers, and on the surface it appears to be a small issue. Truth is, it could have a big impact on the motorcycle community. But before I get there, a little background is in order.
In August of 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) was signed into law. Known as “the lead law,” the intent was to protect children from harmful amounts of lead in toys and other products. That’s a good thing, but unfortunately, the law goes too far by encompassing kids’ dirt bikes and ATV’s due to the lead content in motorcycle batteries and other parts.
Logic tells us we don’t want to see our toddlers chewing on a rubber ducky painted with lead-based paint. But that same logic tells us the likelihood of a youngster chewing on the battery of a dirt bike is pretty slim. The effects of this law have been dramatic. Besides making it tough to get the young ones on a motorcycle and promoting our passion as motorcyclist— it has hurt manufacturers and dealers who are already battling a tough economy. The bike makers and dealers find themselves overstocked with the vehicles they produced or bought and paid for and then weren’t allowed to sell.
After a few months of this lunacy, Malcolm Smith got involved. Fellow blog author Lowell Anderson accurately describes him as a “motorcycling legend and advocate of common sense.” Because of Malcolm’s involvement, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a stay. That sounds great, but under conditions of the stay, it’s still illegal to sell the bikes but they aren’t subject to the penalties of the original law. That means if the authorities deem a sale is in fact illegal, they have the option of prosecuting the dealer.
So where does this leave us? The stay for distribution and sales will expire on May 1, 2011, at which time we’ll have to start the process all over again, wasting more taxpayer dollars on what seems like a common sense issue. What can you do to help? Contact your state representatives and ask them to support H.R. 1587, which will exempt youth motorcycles and ATVs from this confusing and arbitrary legislation.
Motorcycling parents and their kids will thank you.