Kids Can Ride Again

August 15, 2011

On August 12, President Obama signed H.R. 2715, which exempts children's off- highway vehicles (OHVs) from a law that previously banned them due to their lead content.

The winter riding season had been looking bleak for families as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 stayed in place all summer despite efforts of groups such as the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). This law went into effect on February 10, 2009 and banned the making, importing, distributing or selling of products intended for children under the age of 12 that contain more than a specific amount of lead for fear that the toxic substance may be ingested.

But families are now ecstatic that their efforts to show the inadequacy of this law came through. While the fear of lead consumption by children is a very serious one due to its harmful affects, families urged that their children would not be ingesting their dirt-bikes or all terrain vehicles (ATVs).

However, many children's dirt-bikes and ATVs do happen to contain more than the allotted amount of lead allowed by the CPSIA in their engines. This meant that the CPSIA had effectively banned the production and sale of children's sized off-road vehicles.

Many families and groups such as the AMA sought to fight this new ban for obvious reasons. The ban was feared to have several outcomes such as bringing responsible family off-road riding to an end and encouraging parents to allow their children to ride adult size vehicles, which would be unsafe. Thus H.R. 2715 was born.

Families and lobbyists saw a glimmer of hope that their efforts were having an impact on August 1 of this year when H.R. 2715 cleared the House of Representatives by a 421 to 2 vote just before the lawmakers took their summer recess. That same day, H.R. 2715 got unanimous approval. Now, with President Obama's approval, the law will go into affect allowing for children's OHVs to be exempt from being banned under CPSIA and allowing them to be manufactured and sold just in time for the desert riding season.

Ride on, young ones. Ride on.

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