House Bill Approved To Exempt Kids’ Off-Highway Vehicles From Lead Law

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The U.S. House has approved legislation by a vote of 421-2 to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the lead law that essentially bans the sale of those machines at the end of the year, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

On Aug. 1, Reps. Mary Mack Bono (R-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) introduced H.R. 2715 to grant the exemption. The measure earned House approval later in the day and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The Senate is considering similar legislation — S. 1448, the Consumer Product Safety Flexibility Act of 2011.

“This is excellent news for families around the nation who enjoy responsible motorized recreation,” said Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO. “Now the challenge will be to get our federal lawmakers to agree on one version of the bill and to send it to President Obama to be signed into law.

“It is vital that a lead-law exemption for OHVs be signed into law not only because it will once again allow families to enjoy riding together, but also so that children aren’t forced to ride adult-sized machines that they may not be able to operate safely,” Dingman said.

The legislation exempts OHVs — including kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) — from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008.

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.

The CPSIA was designed to ban small toys with high lead content. But because of broadly written language in the law, it has been interpreted to apply to all products for kids 12 and under, including dirtbikes, ATVs, bicycles, clothing and books.

The AMA has been at the forefront of the fight to exclude child-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA for more than two years. 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 CPSC, has received powerful statements from members of the AMA and the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), which is a partner organization of the AMA.

The AMA continues these efforts through its “Kids Just Want to Ride” campaign. To get involved, and to see more of what the AMA has done for the past two years in its efforts to exempt kids’ OHVs from the CPSIA, go tohttp://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/KeepKidMotorcyclesAndATVsLegal.aspx

American Motorcyclist Association appoints Vice President of Industry Relations and Corporate Member Programs

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce that industry veteran Jim Williams has joined the association as Vice President of Industry Relations & Corporate Member Programs. Williams will be responsible for directing the AMA’s outreach to the motorcycle industry as well as creating related membership programs for manufacturers, distributors and aftermarket companies.

With more than 25 years of industry involvement, Williams was most recently the Director, Sales Planning & Promotion for Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA and he concurrently served as Vice Chairman of the AMA Board of Directors. Williams also has trade association experience, having worked for the Motorcycle Industry Council from1986 to 1995, where he coordinated land-use efforts for the industry with the goal of preserving and expanding OHV riding opportunities across the U.S.

“I am very happy to report that Jim Williams has joined the AMA’s executive team,” said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. “Jim has extensive knowledge of the motorcycling community and brings a wide variety of experience from his years at Kawasaki. He was a key member of the team responsible for the company’s increase in motorcycle market share, and he is well regarded throughout the motorcycle industry.

“In addition, as Vice Chairman of the AMA Board of Directors, Jim understands the needs and direction of the AMA, our clubs and our members. I can think of no one more qualified to lead our outreach to the industry as we grow the AMA into the future,” Dingman said.

“It’s a great feeling to be joining the AMA executive team,” added Williams. “For many years, I have been active in the motorcycling community’s struggle with the challenges to current and future riding opportunities, and have done what I could within the industry. By joining the AMA at this time, I can more effectively contribute to the reforms that Rob and the board have undertaken to strengthen and grow the membership of the AMA. There is no organization better positioned to protect our riding lifestyle and freedoms, and I look forward to the opportunities ahead.”

Williams is an avid motorcyclist and has been riding motorcycles since he was 7 years old. He is an AMA Charter Life member and enjoys long-distance adventures in the wide-open spaces of Baja, Nevada and the California desert. Formerly an active participant in AMA District 37 racing, he still competes on occasion.

Williams will be based in Southern California.