A key federal agency can't enforce a ban on the sale of kids' dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) under language inserted into a federal government funding measure in Congress.
Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) got language inserted into the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, that prevents the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from using money to enforce lead-content limits on kids' off-highway vehicles (OHVs).
The limits are contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is known as the lead law.
The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires all children's products to undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the CPSC, which is responsible for implementing the law.
Kid-sized dirtbikes and ATVs contain amounts of lead that exceed the parts-per-million levels allowed under the CPSIA.
The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. Unless the CPSIA is changed by then, the sale of child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs will effectively be banned.
The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill provides annual funding for several key federal government agencies, including the CPSC. If the full House eventually adopts the language, then it still needs to clear the Senate before the bill goes to the president to be signed into law.
"While the original legislation was intended to keep kids safe from lead content in toys, the overreaching enforcement wound up putting them at risk by forcing them to use larger, more dangerous machines that are intended only for adults," said Rehberg, who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
"While I'm working on a permanent fix to get rid of this dangerous regulation, my appropriations language will buy more time," he said. Rehberg was referring to H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which he introduced to exempt kids' OHVs from the lead-content restrictions of the CPSIA.
Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO, thanked Rehberg for his efforts.
"This language is an important step in efforts to lift the ban on the sale of kid-sized dirtbikes and ATVs imposed by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008," Dingman said. "America's young riders need to be able to ride appropriately sized machines to help them stay safe. If those machines aren't available, then they may ride bigger machines that may be difficult for them to control.
"Small businesses that sell small off-highway vehicles also suffer under the CPSIA," he said. "For the safety of children, and for the health of small businesses, the AMA strongly urges the adoption of this language."
To urge your federal lawmakers to support the Rehberg language in the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, and to support H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, go to http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/issueslegislation.