In the wake of last week’s amendment to Michigan’s helmet laws, we take a look at another recently enacted piece of motorcycle-related legislation. Virginia has now joined 48 other states in allowing two motorcycles to travel side-by-side in the same lane. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell actually signed House Bill 97, on Feb. 28 but the […]
Obama Signs Lead Ban Exemption Bill
President Barack Obama has signed H.R. 2715, enacting a law that will make it legal to sell youth off-highway vehicles again.
The bill amends the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 which barred the sale of items with lead components, a ban which had unintentionally included off-highway vehicles. The amendment, which was approved by both the House and the Senate on Aug. 1, exempts off-highway vehicles and allows the Consumer Product Safety Commission to grant exemptions to other products on a case-by-case basis.
“Federal legislators deserve a lot of thanks for their tireless efforts, especially U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and all the other lawmakers who supported an exemption,” says Rob Dingman, AMA president and chief executive officer. “Hundreds of thousands of parents, kids and motorcycling club members responded to AMA calls for action to contact their elected officials and their efforts, along with all those volunteers who circulated petitions and took other actions, brought this issue to the attention of Congress and turned the tide in our favor.”
The Motorcycle Industry Council, which represents manufacturers and distributors, echoed Dingman’s response.
“For more than two years, the powersports industry and its riders have urged Congress to categorically exclude youth dirtbikes and ATVs from the CPSIA’s lead content provisions,” says Larry Little, chairman of the Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors. “We are gratified that our community’s passion and perseverance have paid off and the ban on youth model OHVs is finally over.”
Obama signs lead law-exemption bill for kids’ off-highway vehicles
In a victory for families who enjoy responsible motorized recreation, President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to allow the sale of kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to continue, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
On Aug. 12, Obama signed into law H.R. 2715, introduced by Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.). The measure exempts kids’ OHVs from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, known as the lead law.
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 all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), that contained more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part that might be ingested.
H.R. 2715 cleared the House by a 421-2 vote on Aug. 1 just before lawmakers went into their summer recess, and earned Senate approval by unanimous consent the same day.
The new law is a victory that is the result of 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.
“Federal legislators deserve a lot of thanks for their tireless efforts, especially U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and all the other lawmakers who supported an exemption,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Hundreds of thousands of parents, kids and motorcycling club members responded to AMA calls for action to contact their elected officials and their efforts, along with all those volunteers who circulated petitions and took other actions, brought this issue to the attention of Congress and turned the tide in our favor.
“I’m sure that those letters, emails and telephone calls to Congress had a major impact in convincing lawmakers to exempt OHVs from the lead law,” Dingman said. “I’m also convinced that the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb held on May 26 played a major role, since it put a human face on the issue by showing lawmakers the kids and families who are suffering because of the CPSIA.
“I want to thank Racer X magazine, Doublin Gap Motocross Park, Mason Dixon Riding Association 6 and 7, Tomahawk MX Park, the Middle Atlantic Motocross Association, Budds Creek Motocross Park, High Point Raceway, and advocates such as the Yentzer family and Moto-Patriot Nancy Sabater, who brought youngsters to Washington, D.C., for the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb to lobby their lawmakers,” he said.
Dingman also thanked other organizations and individuals that worked diligently on the effort, including the Motorcycle Industry Council and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, which represent the motorcycle and ATV industries; the motorcycle enthusiast and trade media; Sean Hilbert, president of Cobra Motorcycles, which makes kids’ dirtbikes; the Coombs family and Tim Cotter of MX Sports, which has conducted the famed AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship featuring thousands of promising young riders for the past 30 years, and Kirk “Hardtail” Willard, president of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
“I want to extend a very special thanks to Malcolm Smith, a member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, who brought a lot of attention to the unfairness of the lead law when he hosted a media event at Malcolm Smith Motorsports and sold some youth OHVs as a symbolic gesture to protest the law,” Dingman said.
The AMA has been at the forefront of the fight to exclude child-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA since early 2009. The association has participated in news events to focus media attention on the issue, lobbied on Capitol Hill, and organized campaigns to encourage riders and parents to contact their federal lawmakers and key decision-makers to exempt kids’ OHVs from the CPSIA.
As a result, every single member of Congress, as well as members of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has received powerful statements from members of the AMA and ATVA.
The AMA magnified these efforts through its “Kids Just Want to Ride” campaign. To read more of what the AMA has done in its efforts to exempt kids’ OHVs from the CPSIA, go to http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/KeepKidMotorcyclesAndATVsLegal.aspx.
Aimed at children’s toys, the CPSIA ensnared kids’ dirtbikes and ATVs because trace levels of lead can be found in parts such as batteries and brake calipers. Other children’s products were also affected by the CPSIA, such as books, clothes and microscopes.
The CPSC, which is responsible for implementing the CPSIA, delayed enforcement of certain parts of the law until the end of this year, granting a reprieve for child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs. That gave those concerned about the law time to change it before the reprieve ended.
Obama Signs CPSIA Amendment into Law Ending Ban on Youth OHVs
Youth ATVs and Dirtbikes are Categorically Excluded from Lead Content Limits
IRVINE, Calif., August 12, 2011 – President Obama signed H.R. 2715 into law today, just days after it passed the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives nearly unanimously, putting an end to an unintentional ban on youth ATVs and off-highway motorcycles that has lasted for more than two years. The new law amends the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to categorically exclude youth ATVs and dirtbikes from the lead content provisions.
“For more than two years, the powersports industry and its riders have urged Congress to categorically exclude youth dirtbikes and ATVs from the CPSIA’s lead content provisions,” said Larry Little, chairman of the Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors. “We are gratified that our community’s passion and perseverance have paid off and the ban on youth model OHVs is finally over. MIC’s Member Companies worked hard on this issue, as well as many MIC staff members, and we are especially grateful to Paul Vitrano, Kathy Van Kleeck, Duane Taylor and the MIC Government Relations Office.”
Since CPSIA took effect, the Motorcycle Industry Council has been working to end the ban by providing written comment and congressional testimony, and by leading a large grass-roots effort consisting of phone calls, letters and emails that cumulatively reached well over a million.
“On behalf of riders everywhere, we thank the Congress and the President for their action on H.R. 2715 to reverse the unintended ban on youth ATVs and motorcycles,” said Paul Vitrano, general counsel of the MIC. “In particular, MIC and its members thank Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) for sponsoring the bill and Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for leading the Congressional effort to enact the categorical exclusion.”
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.