CPSC supports moratorium on lead law for youth-model motorcycles

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted to stay enforcement of a lead law that currently bans the sale of youth-model motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The stay, which extends through May 1, 2011, follows a unanimous vote by Acting Chairwoman Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore.

The AMA Government Relations Department is currently examining the 25-page Stay of Enforcement document and will issue more details shortly.

The law in question is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Designed to protect children from lead in toys that might easily end up in children’s mouths, the language of the legislation has ensnared a number of products that have little exposure risk, including youth-model motorcycles and ATVs.

"While we applaud the CPSC commissioners’ vote to stay enforcement of the law, this doesn’t solve the real issue, which is the law itself," 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. Hopefully, this stay will give Congress the time it needs to fix this law, and we will continue to work with both legislators and our partners in the industry to make certain that it does."

Moreland added that nearly 80,000 AMA and ATVA (All-Terrain Vehicle Association) members contacted their lawmakers and the CPSC to let them know how they feel. "I’m convinced this helped shape Chairman Nord’s and Commissioner Moore’s decision to support a moratorium on enforcing the lead law," he said.

Despite the stay, 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.

"Motorcyclists and ATV riders need to let the Congress know that we are concerned about the law, and that we want kids’ OHVs excluded from the law," said Moreland. "We need to continue to let our decision-makers know how we feel."

Riders should contact their federal lawmakers and ask them to support legislation to exempt youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA by going to the "Rights" and then "Issues and Legislation" section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

Also, individuals can sign up for the AMA/ATVA Government Relations Department’s Action E-list so that they can be notified by e-mail when their support is needed to make a difference on important issues. Those interested in circulating a petition to change the CPSIA should contact Jessica Irving, AMA/ATVA grassroots coordinator, at jirving@ama-cycle.org.