U.S. lawmakers say new kids' off-highway vehicle law will save jobs
August 23, 2011
Federal lawmakers involved in the repeal of a de facto ban on the sale of kids' off-highway vehicles (OHVs) say the new law will help U.S. businesses, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), ranking member of the same subcommittee, sponsored the bill that became the new law: H.R. 2715.
H.R. 2715 exempts kids' OHVs from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, known as the lead law. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Aug. 12.
"This important new law will not only help to protect American consumers, but it will also help to save countless American jobs by reducing regulations on U.S. businesses which do not make sense and do not benefit the public," Bono Mack said.
"We simply cannot afford to lose jobs or stifle innovation because of questionable regulations, and I thank the president for signing this critically important bill into law," she said. "I would like to thank my colleagues, Henry Waxman and G.K. Butterfield, for working closely with me to reach a bipartisan solution. This law is a win-win for American consumers and the American economy."
Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO, thanked all the lawmakers involved for their efforts to bring an end to the ban on the sale of kids' dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) that would have taken effect at the end of the year.
"This nearly three-year ordeal is now over," Dingman said. "Congress responded to America's motorcycling and ATV-riding community and did the right thing. These families can now go back to enjoying responsible motorized recreation without any fear that their pastime is about to end."
The CPSIA, which went into effect on Feb. 10, 2009, banned the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under, including kids' dirtbikes and ATVs, that contained more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part that might be ingested.
The new law is a victory resulting from nearly three years of intensive efforts by the AMA and its partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), their members and millions of advocates of responsible OHV recreation.
Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who worked tirelessly to exempt children's OHVs from the CPSIA from the beginning, praised the signing of H.R. 2715.
"I'm so pleased that Congress put partisanship aside and did the right thing for the off-road industry, the off-road culture and above all, kids who just want to ride," Rehberg said. "No longer will we face the danger of kids forced to ride more dangerous adult-size machines or dealerships prohibited from selling or repairing safer youth-size models.
"This legislation could not have become a law without the hard-fought support of the riding community, including the American Motorcyclist Association," Rehberg continued. "Their grassroots efforts were critical to showing Congress what was at stake. This victory belongs to kids like the ones who climbed Capitol Hill in their motocross gear. They and their parents decided not to sit on the fence and instead actively participated in their government and the results deserve a victory lap.
"This problem was created by government, and while I'm glad it's finally been resolved, we must always remember that the unintended consequences of overregulation have real impacts on the day-to-day lives of Americans," he added.
When the bill cleared the House, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) noted that some businesses felt they would be stuck with inventory because they wouldn't be able to sell products containing trace amounts of lead, and small companies feared they wouldn't be able to comply with the requirements of the CPSIA.
"This bill addresses these concerns without jeopardizing our children's safety," Waxman said.
He added: "And after many hours and many months of tough negotiating, what we have here is a compromise that epitomizes bipartisanship. Neither side got everything it wanted. But both sides gave up enough that we were able to come up with something that was sensible and reasonable..."
On the Senate side, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) noted that she worked with the AMA, the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America to get legislation approved to exempt OHVs from the lead-content regulations, and she was pleased when this bill passed.
"This legislation will help both ensure children's safety and spare countless businesses and individuals unnecessary cost and disruption," Klobucher said.
For more information, go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com.