PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A bill that would exempt kids' off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from a law that effectively bans their sale at the end of the year is gaining more support in Congress, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
Seventy-five U.S. House members now support the bill -- H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) -- that would exempt kids' OHVs from the lead-content portion of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008.
"The Kids Just Want To Ride Act has broad bipartisan support, but that's not why it deserves to become a law," Rehberg said. "It deserves to become a law because it's good policy that will keep kids safe and preserve jobs. There are plenty of things to argue about in Congress, but keeping kids safe by allowing them to ride on kid-sized motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles shouldn't be one of them."
Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-Texas), who is co-chairman of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus and a co-signor of H.R. 412, also stressed the safety aspects of the bill.
"As a medical doctor, I know how important safety is and [I] am pleased to hear that 75 members of Congress have now co-sponsored this important legislation," Burgess said. "Bills like the Kids Just Want to Ride Act demonstrate that Congress can provide flexibility for companies while ensuring safety for consumers."
H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, is aimed squarely at the CPSIA, which is commonly known as the lead law. 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.
The CPSIA also requires that all childrens' 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, the sale of kids' dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) will effectively be banned.
"Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill recognize that a common-sense solution is needed to solve the problems created by the CPSIA so that families can continue to enjoy responsible outdoor motorized recreation," said Rick Podliska, AMA Washington representative. "And almost daily, more and more lawmakers are recognizing that H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, offers that common-sense solution."
The latest flood of support for the Kids Just Want to Ride Act follows a day of lobbying by kids and their parents who descended on Washington, D.C., in late May as part of the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb lobbying effort. The children, dressed in motocross gear, and their parents shared their stories about enjoying responsible motorized recreation, and the need to change the CPSIA, in discussions with lawmakers and congressional staff members.
Podliska noted, however, that some lawmakers may still be unaware of H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act. He is urging anyone concerned about the future of off-highway riding for youth to contact their federal lawmakers and ask them to support H.R. 412.
The easiest way to contact your lawmaker on the issue is to go tohttp://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/IssuesLegislation.aspx