Bill introduced to block motorcycle-only checkpoints

A federal lawmaker has introduced legislation to prevent the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from giving money to states and local jurisdictions for motorcycle-only checkpoints, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On March 3, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced the bill. The legislation, with original co-sponsors Reps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would prohibit the DOT “from providing grants or any funds to a state, county, town, or township, Indian tribe, municipal or other local government to be used for any program to check helmet usage or create checkpoints for a motorcycle driver or passenger.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is part of the Transportation Department, recently gave Georgia a $70,000 grant to conduct one or more roadside motorcycle-only checkpoints. New York state has operated a similar program using state funds. The AMA has been tracking this disturbing development of motorcycle-only checkpoints since it first appeared in New York several years ago.

50 lawmakers now support The Kids Just Want to Ride Act

Congress Needs to Clarify Lead Ban Provision in Bill

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Legislation that would exempt kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from the “lead law” that effectively bans them at the end of the year is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

There are now 50 co-sponsors to H.R. 412: The Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which was introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) The bill seeks to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is also 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 undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for implementing the law.

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.

“As a motorcycling enthusiast myself for many years, I fully respect the importance of improving the safety of kids who ride off-highway motorcycles and ATVs,” said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), one of the latest co-sponsors. “But this is just another example of regulations creating the exact opposite effect of their original intent. This law actually makes kids less safe by eliminating appropriately sized off-highway motorcycles and ATVs, and forces young riders onto larger and more powerful machines not designed for them.

“I’m proud to support the Kids Just Want to Ride Act and know that it will keep youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs available for safe and responsible use as they are intended,” Ribble said.

Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), another co-sponsor, said: “The Kids Just Want to Ride Act will fix the illogical mandate of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and will once again allow our children to safely enjoy outdoor recreational vehicles. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this common-sense legislation to protect our youth while working to create jobs.”

Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, thanked lawmakers for their bipartisan backing of the bill. He noted it’s important to get as many co-sponsors as possible to increase the bill’s chances of passage.

Moreland urged all concerned riders and parents to contact their federal lawmakers to ask for support.

The easiest way to contact lawmakers is through the Rights section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

In addition to Ribble and Landry, the latest co-sponsors of the Kids Just Want to Ride bill include Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), John Kline (R-Minn.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

For more information, go to http://capwiz.com/amacycle/go/HR412