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From the mouths of kids: Riders rally in Washington, D.C., against lead ban for motorcycles

April 01, 2009


Motorcyclists, AMA members, motorcycle dealers and industry officials gathered in Washington D.C. today to rally in support of an effort to overturn a ban on the sales of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs that is mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

Standing in the Capitol Building Visitors Center, the rally-goers heard from federal lawmakers, powersports industry watchdogs and others, all urging the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to correct the unintended consequences of the CPSIA. Designed to curtail the sale of toys containing lead to children 12 years old and younger, the CPSIA inadvertently ensnared youth-model motorcycles and ATVs because certain parts, including batteries and valve stems, may contain lead, which can be harmful to children if ingested.

The AMA, its members and other motorcycle groups have been supporting an industry petition for an exclusion from the regulation ban since early February. Wednesday's rally was organized by industry groups affected by the CPSIA.

Of all the speakers at the rally, perhaps no one captured the problems the law has created for young motorcycle and ATV riders better than a youngster -– an AMA member -- who had to stand on a chair to be seen above the podium. 

"My name is Chase Yentzer, and I'm 6 years old. I ride dirtbikes with my family. I race dirtbikes. Please give me my dirtbike back. I promise not to eat it," he said, to thunderous applause.

The rally is one more step in the ongoing battle to convince the CSPC to grant an exemption from the CPSIA for the sale of youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs, noted Ed Moreland, the AMA's vice president of government relations, who also attended the rally.

"Seeing so many motorcyclists and ATVers coming together to fight for their right to enjoy their favorite motorsports with their families really is heartwarming,'' Moreland said. "With the CPSC's vote on an exclusion expected soon, I hope the message is coming through loud and clear that the unintended consequences of the CPSIA should be fixed -- and soon -- for riders, kids, parents, dealers and the entire industry."

For more information about the gathering, visit the rally's website at www.amendthecpsia.com.

Motorcyclists and ATV riders can tell the CPSC how they feel about the ban by visiting the "Issues and Legislation" area of www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com. AMA members will also find a self-addressed card in the May issue of American Motorcyclist magazine that they can mail directly to the CPSC.

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

 

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