April 24, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Kresnak
Phone: (614) 856-1900
PICKERINGTON, OHIO -- The federal Consumer Products Safety Commission – the agency that banned three-wheeled all-terrain vehicles in the 1980s – will hold a new series of public hearings on ATV safety beginning in June, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association reports.
According to a notice published in the Federal Register today, the commission will hold a public hearing June 5 in Morgantown, W.Va. The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. at West Virginia University in the Robert C. Byrd Health Science Center.
The commission states that it is "concerned about the dramatic increase in ATV-related injuries and the continued increase in ATV-related deaths, and believes that holding a hearing will provide an opportunity for the interested public to share their concerns about ATVs and ATV safety."
The commission will take testimony on issues ranging from the availability of safety training to whether there should be "performance standards" set for ATVs. The commission notes that there has been an increase in the number of injuries to riders using ATVs with engine sizes of 400cc and greater.
The commission also will take testimony on a proposal by a coalition of groups made up of the Consumer Federation of America, the Natural Trails and Waters Coalition, the Bluewater Network and others seeking a ban on the sale of adult-sized ATVs sold for use by children under 16.
The coalition originally called for a ban on all ATV use by those under the age of 16 but the CPSC said that it could not enforce such a ban. ATVA Director Doug Morris noted that under a longstanding agreement between the ATV industry and the federal agency, only the smallest ATVs – those with engines displacing 90cc or less – have been sold for use by riders in that age group.
In addition, Morris questioned the motivation behind some of the groups involved in this attack on ATVs. He noted that the Natural Trails and Waters Coalition and the Bluewater Network have never had any involvement with, or interest in, ATV safety. Instead, their agenda has been to block access to public lands for ATV riders and others involved in motorized recreation.
"Including these anti-access organizations in this coalition makes for an odd alliance at the very least," Morris said, "since the interests of two of the coalition partners are in eliminating ATVs, not making them safer."
To testify before the Consumer Product Safety Commission in West Virginia, contact Rockelle Hammond, Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C., 20207. Tel: (301) 504-6833. Fax: (301) 504-0127. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also send written testimony until July 5 to Attn: ATV Hearing, Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C., 20207.
Issued April 24, 2003
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