Obama signs lead law-exemption bill for kids' off-highway vehicles
Ohio -- In a victory for families who enjoy responsible motorized
recreation, President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill to allow
the sale of kids' off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to continue, the American
Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
On Aug. 12, Obama
signed into law H.R. 2715, introduced by Reps. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.)
and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.). The measure exempts kids' OHVs from the
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, known as the
The CPSIA, which went into effect on Feb. 10, 2009,
banned the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product
intended for children 12 and under, including kids' dirtbikes and
all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), that contained more than a specified amount
of lead in any accessible part that might be ingested.
2715 cleared the House by a 421-2 vote on Aug. 1 just before lawmakers
went into their summer recess, and earned Senate approval by unanimous
consent the same day.
The new law is a victory that is the
result of nearly three years of intensive efforts by the AMA and its
partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), their
members and millions of advocates of responsible OHV recreation.
"Federal legislators deserve a lot of thanks for their tireless
efforts, especially U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), U.S. Sen. Amy
Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and all the other lawmakers who supported an
exemption," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Hundreds of
thousands of parents, kids and motorcycling club members responded to
AMA calls for action to contact their elected officials and their
efforts, along with all those volunteers who circulated petitions and
took other actions, brought this issue to the attention of Congress and
turned the tide in our favor.
"I'm sure that those letters,
emails and telephone calls to Congress had a major impact in convincing
lawmakers to exempt OHVs from the lead law," Dingman said. "I'm also
convinced that the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb held on May 26 played a
major role, since it put a human face on the issue by showing lawmakers
the kids and families who are suffering because of the CPSIA.
"I want to thank Racer X
magazine, Doublin Gap Motocross Park, Mason Dixon Riding Association 6
and 7, Tomahawk MX Park, the Middle Atlantic Motocross Association,
Budds Creek Motocross Park, High Point Raceway, and advocates such as
the Yentzer family and Moto-Patriot Nancy Sabater, who brought
youngsters to Washington, D.C., for the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb to
lobby their lawmakers," he said.
Dingman also thanked other
organizations and individuals that worked diligently on the effort,
including the Motorcycle Industry Council and Specialty Vehicle
Institute of America, which represent the motorcycle and ATV industries;
the motorcycle enthusiast and trade media; Sean Hilbert, president of
Cobra Motorcycles, which makes kids' dirtbikes; the Coombs family and
Tim Cotter of MX Sports, which has conducted the famed AMA Amateur
National Motocross Championship featuring thousands of promising young
riders for the past 30 years, and Kirk "Hardtail" Willard, president of
the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
"I want to extend a very
special thanks to Malcolm Smith, a member of the Motorcycle Hall of
Fame, who brought a lot of attention to the unfairness of the lead law
when he hosted a media event at Malcolm Smith Motorsports and sold some
youth OHVs as a symbolic gesture to protest the law," Dingman said.
The AMA has been at the forefront of the fight to exclude child-sized
motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA since early 2009. 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 Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC), has received powerful statements from members of the
AMA and ATVA.
The AMA magnified these efforts through its
"Kids Just Want to Ride" campaign. To read more of what the AMA has done
in its efforts to exempt kids' OHVs from the CPSIA, go to http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/KeepKidMotorcyclesAndATVsLegal.aspx.
Aimed at children's toys, the CPSIA ensnared kids' dirtbikes and ATVs
because trace levels of lead can be found in parts such as batteries and
brake calipers. Other children's products were also affected by the
CPSIA, such as books, clothes and microscopes.
The CPSC, which
is responsible for implementing the CPSIA, delayed enforcement of
certain parts of the law until the end of this year, granting a reprieve
for child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs. That gave those concerned about the
law time to change it before the reprieve ended.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the
motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they
navigate many different routes on their journey to the same
destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling
rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in
the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of
international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion.
Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more
motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any
other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving
discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services,
gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through
its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the
heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information,
please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.