Acting Chairwoman Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore, the two members of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), are scheduled to vote by Friday, May 1, on whether to delay enforcement of a lead law that currently bans the sale of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports. Specific details of the ballot have not yet been released.
The two commissioners voted earlier this month to deny a petition to exclude youth-model motorcycles and ATVs from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). However, the commissioners indicated their desire to enact a stay of enforcement that would give the motorcycle industry and Congress time to pass legislation exempting these vehicles from the law as it is currently written.
"The effect of denying the petition is to make Section 101(e) of the CPSIA, which limits the commission's authority to stay enforcement during rulemaking, no longer applicable," said Nord on April 3 in her statement on the request for exclusion from lead content limits of the CPSIA of 2008. "Therefore, during the pendency of a stay of enforcement, ATVs and motorized bikes appropriately sized for children 12 and younger can again be available and the Commission will not seek penalties for violation of Section 101 and related provisions of the CPSIA against those who sell them. I hope that the state attorneys general will follow the lead of the agency on this matter."
On April 17, commission filings in preparation for the vote indicated a stay could be as long as two years, possibly expiring May 1, 2011.
Despite Nord's statement, it is unclear whether state attorneys general will also decline to enforce the CPSIA. The sale of youth-model motorcycles and ATVs is still technically illegal. Even though a stay means that dealers would not be subject to fines or penalties imposed by the CPSC, state attorneys general would still be able to prosecute violators if they chose to do so.
"Even if the CPSC commissioners do approve a stay, the vote won't solve the bigger problem," said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. "Youth-model motorcycles and ATVs should be exempt from the law, and Congress needs to act to make that happen. We will continue to work with our partners in the industry and our friends in Congress to make certain that it does."