Ban of Youth-model Motorcycles and ATVs Update

CPSC poised to delay enforcement of law that bans sale of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to deny a petition to exclude youth-model motorcycles and ATVs from a law that bans their sale because of possible lead concerns–but has cleared the way for a second vote by month’s end to delay enforcement of the law, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

Because both members of the commission have said they favor a stay of enforcement, the move almost certainly will stay the execution of parts of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) within the agency. On Friday, commission filings in preparation for the vote indicated a stay could be as long as two years, possibly expiring May 1, 2011. A planned second vote on that timeframe was expected by the end of April.

In addition, it’s not clear whether state attorneys general, who are also charged with enforcing the law, will also stand down.

"Clearly this latest move shows that the CPSC realizes that youth-model motorcycles and ATVs have no business getting caught up in a law aimed at children’s toys," said Ed Moreland, the AMA’s vice president for government relations. "We’re heartened that both commissioners favor a stay of enforcement, and it appears that this could clear the way for dealers to sell youth-model motorcycles and ATVs–an important consideration for riders and motorsports businesses alike as the riding and racing season ramps up.

"However, this vote doesn’t solve the larger, long-term issue, which is whether or not youth-model motorcycles and ATVs will be exempted from the CPSIA," Moreland noted. "We believe they should be excluded, and we will continue to work with our partners in the industry and our friends in Congress to make that happen."

Acting CPSC Chairwoman Nancy Nord went on record on April 3 favoring a stay of enforcement. On April 16, Commissioner Thomas Moore agreed.

"It is clear from the post-enactment statements of some Members of Congress who were
Conferees on the CPSIA that they believe the Commission has the authority to make sensible
allowances for these vehicles as long as child safety is not compromised," Moore said in his statement. "Given the extremely restrictive language of the law, the only avenue I can see is for the Commission to establish an enforcement plan that follows, to the greatest extent possible, the Act’s intention for future production, while providing relief to the industry and the riding community for vehicles already manufactured and those manufactured during the stay."

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