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AMA urges action on bipartisan Congressional letters to end the ban on the sale of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs

April 01, 2009

The AMA is urging AMA members and concerned motorcyclists to push their federal lawmakers to support two letters being circulated by members of Congress that ask the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to exclude youth-model motorcycles and ATVs from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

The CPSIA, intended to curtail the sale of toys containing lead to children 12-years-old and under, inadvertently ensnared youth-model motorcycles and ATVs because certain parts, including batteries and valve stems, may contain lead. The AMA, its members and other motorcycle groups have been supporting an industry petition for exclusion from the regulation since early February.

Now, as the CPSC prepares to vote on whether it will grant that exclusion, a group of lawmakers has drafted two letters -- one in the House and one in the Senate -- urging the CPSC to allow the sale of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs. The lawmakers are: Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.); and Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.-AL), and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.-AL).

To see the Senate letter, click here. To see the House letter, click here.

"AMA members and motorcyclists everywhere have shown that we can make a difference when we pull together and act as a group," said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president of government relations. "Now is the time to work with your elected representatives and urge them to sign on to these Congressional letters to the CPSC, and to support the two bills aimed at righting this oversight: H.R. 1587 and S. 608. It's clear that when both political parties and both houses of Congress agree on something like this, change needs to happen."

The CPSC needs to take action to stop the unintended consequences of its widespread ban on children's toys, noted Sen. Jon Tester, vice chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, sponsor of S. 608 and one of the original co-signers of the Senate letter.

"I introduced legislation to put common sense back into the equation and to keep motorsports an important part of our outdoor heritage," Sen. Tester said. "Access to the outdoors is an American value, and motorsports provide that access for countless families. Young folks ought to be able to ride bikes and ATVs responsibly, not be held back because of rules that apply to toys."

Rep. Rehberg, an original co-signer of the House letter and whose bill, H.R. 1587, is also intended to eliminate the ban, echoed those sentiments.

"While Congress is working on a permanent legislative fix to this serious misapplication of the law, I hope that the Commission does the responsible thing by exempting youth-sized off-road vehicles like ATVs, motorcycles and snowmobiles from the overreaching federal lead regulations," he said. "I'm glad I have the opportunity to work with the American Motorcyclist Association on an issue of such importance to so many Montanans."

Noted Rep. Herseth Sandlin, also one of the original co-signers of the House letter: "It was clearly not Congressional intent to ban the sale of youth motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Providing a common-sense exemption for these products will ultimately protect the safety of young riders by ensuring availability of appropriately sized machines."

The CPSC is expected to vote on the matter soon. AMA members and others can take action by visiting www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com, clicking on the "Rights" section and then "Issues and Legislation." AMA members will also find a self-addressed card in the May issue of American Motorcyclist that they can mail directly to the CPSC.

Interested parties can also sign up to get e-mail Action Alerts in the "Rights" section to keep abreast of issues threatening motorcycling and ATV riding.

 

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