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Federal agency staff recommends against exemption for youth ATVs/motorcycles

The likelihood of a ban on certain youth ATVs and motorcycles ending quickly has taken a hit.

The Consumer Safety Product Commission (CPSC) staff recommended Wednesday that its two commissioners deny an exemption for youth-designed ATVs and motorcycles that do not meet the lead requirements specified in a new federal law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act.

CPSC commissioners can either approve the staff’s recommendations or vote to reject those and provide the exemption. The latter would represent the quickest way to ending the ban on youth-designed ATVs and motorcycles that the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) has said could cause $1 billion in lost economic value to the industry.

Historically, a vote by the commissioners occurs about five days after the staff report is made public, which was done Wednesday.

In the report, the staff said it agreed with an industry-provided evaluation that contact with lead-containing parts on a youth ATV or motorcycle “would not be extensive, but the staff also believes that such contact is not inconceivable.”

The staff report further states that because children’s use of ATVs and motorcycles “could result in intake of lead, and therefore absorption, however small the absorbed amount” the criteria for an exemption is not met as outlined in the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act.

A separate CPSC staff report dated March 31 that was provided by the agency’s Human Factors staff notes the possible ramifications if an exemption is not given. “A bigger safety concern than lead exposure,” the report states, “is that the elimination of youth ATV sales will most likely increase the number of adult ATVs purchased to be used by younger children; therefore increasing their risk of injury and death.”

In a press release, MIC President Tim Buche said, “As a result of the CPSC staff recommendation we must intensify all efforts to get Congressional support for a regulatory or legislative fix. One way is to strongly advocate two new bills that have been introduced, S. 608 and H.R. 1587.

“We’re very pleased to see this Congressional support to end the ban and we’re working with the sponsors to ensure these bills would provide immediate and critical relief to the powersports industry.”

The MIC is urging its members, dealers and enthusiasts to contact their members of Congress and appropriate committee members via www.StopTheBanNow.com.

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