News Senate Approves Vital Lead Law Legislation

Senate Approves Vital Lead Law Legislation

Motorcycle Legislation

he U.S. Senate has approved a House bill 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 (AMA) reports.

The bill, H.R. 2715 introduced by Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), cleared the full House by a 421-2 vote on Aug. 1, and then earned approval in the Senate the same day. The bill now goes to President Obama to be signed into law.

Rick Podliska (AMA Washington Rep) says: "We’re extremely pleased that members of both parties in both houses of Congress have agreed to exempt kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles from the lead law that would have effectively banned them at the end of the year.

"It is time for this nearly three-year ordeal to be over so America’s motorcycling and ATV-riding families can once again ride with the peace of mind that their lifestyle will no longer be threatened by this misguided lead law.

"I particularly want to thank Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) for their tireless efforts to exempt youth OHVs from the lead law. Their efforts have paid off."

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 magnified these efforts through its "Kids Just Want to Ride" campaign. To read more of what the AMA has done for the past three years in its efforts to exempt kids’ OHVs from the CPSIA, click here.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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