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

Restrictive Federal Wild Lands Policy on Hold for This Fiscal Year

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The funding measure that keeps the federal government operating throughSept. 30 includes language that bars the U.S. Interior Department from using any money to carry out the new Wild Lands land-use policy, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

The Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution — which was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on April 15 — specifically states that no federal money “may be used to implement, administer, or enforce Secretarial Order No. 3310 issued by the Secretary of the Interioron Dec. 22, 2010.”

“This is a major victory for responsible off-highway vehicle [OHV] riders and others concerned about appropriate access to public land,” said Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations. “But we can’t let up. Anti-access groups will continue pushing for implementation of the Wild Lands policy for the next federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.”

Secretarial Order 3310 created the Wild Lands land-use policy. The policy essentially allows federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials to manage public land as if it had received a Wilderness designation from Congress, but without requiring congressional approval.

This new policy, if implemented, is widely expected to restrict or eliminate responsible OHV use in the affected areas.

A Wilderness designation is one of the most restrictive forms of public land management. Once Congress designates an area as Wilderness, nearly all forms of non-pedestrian recreation are illegal.

The AMA supports appropriate Wilderness designations that meet the criteria established by Congress in 1964, but anti-access advocates have been abusing the legislative process to ban responsible OHV recreation on public land.