Oklahoma House Calls for More Stringent Youth ATV Regulations

March 25, 2009

A resolution urging the federal government to amend regulations banning the sale of youth all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles has been passed by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Resolution 1024, by state Reps. Ken Luttrell and Rex Duncan, urges the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to provide a waiver or exclusion for youth all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles from toy lead-limit requirements.

According to Luttrell, the 2008 federal lead regulations, intended to apply to children’s toys, have been applied to component parts of youth vehicles, such as the engine, brakes, battery and other parts – making the vehicles noncompliant.

“The lead regulations do not make any sense in this situation,” noted Luttrell, D-Ponca City. “I don’t think anyone is going to lick a motorcycle engine and get lead poisoning.”

Duncan, R-Sand Springs, said current regulations are unintentionally increasing the likelihood of child injury. Under the new regulations, most youth vehicles are now illegal. As a result, children are now effectively forced to drive and ride on adult-sized motorcycles they cannot safely handle, increasing the chance of accidents.

“It is of the utmost importance that young riders only ride appropriately sized machines,” said Duncan. “To suddenly eliminate the availability of all ATVs and motorcycles designed for riders ages 12 and under will likely cause some consumers to purchase vehicles that are physically too large for young riders. This is a safety issue for children.”

After the regulations were approved, powersports dealers were told to halt all sales of vehicles designed for children age 12 and younger. In 2008, there were an estimated 100,000 youth bikes sold in the United States according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.

Dealers nationally are now stuck with close to $100 million in now-illegal unsold vehicles, according to estimates.

The regulations have also had the unintended consequence of reducing child safety on previously sold motorcycles, Luttrell and Duncan noted. With parts for all youth vehicles now illegal, many are no longer safe to operate and others could perform improperly.

House Resolution 1024 urges the Consumer Product Safety Commission to take a “common sense” approach to implementation of the lead regulations, noting “there should be a waiver or exclusion for products that do not truly present a lead risk to children.”

The resolution has been passed unanimously and does not require a Senate vote.

Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives

Topics Legislation Auto Oklahoma

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