MIC Goes Gets Aggressive to Reverse Ban on Kid Motorcycles & ATVs

February 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Legislation, Safety

Photo © Suzuki

It’s been about a year since Motorcycles and ATVs that were intended for children under 12 years old were banned as a result of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

The ruling was “…intended to address lead in toys and children’s jewelry that kids put in their mouths,” according to Paul Vitrano, General Counsel for the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. “We’re concerned about this for a variety of reasons,” he says, “in particular because the lack of availability of youth products makes it more likely that youth are going to ride adult size products. And that’s a real risk to children.”

To reverse the prohibition, MIC has launched a multimedia campaign that helps people contact Congress to express their opposition to the ban.

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 9, 2010 – The Motorcycle Industry Council says now is the time to push for a Congressional solution to permanently end the ban on youth motorcycles and ATVs in a video call-to-action. At this year’s Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo, the MIC is hosting a variety of multi-media communication tools and activities so that dealers, MIC members, and Expo exhibitors can voice their concerns, show their support, and urge Congress to take action to permanently end the ban on youth vehicles.

“There is tremendous momentum for Congress to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’s lead content provisions to exclude youth vehicles,” said MIC general counsel Paul Vitrano. “We need our voices to be heard now, and by making all these different multi-media tools available here at Indy, every MIC member, every exhibitor, and every Expo attendee can be part of this massive grassroots effort to finally Stop the Ban.”

The MIC’s multi-media communication offerings at Indy include: Text – Signage will be posted throughout the Expo encouraging attendees to show their support for the effort to Stop the Ban on youth ATVs and motorcycles with their cell phone by sending the text message “StoptheBan” or “STB” to 30101. A feature on www.stopthebannow.com allows the public to join the campaign directly from the website by entering their cell phone number. Each person will receive a text response after entering their number and upon replying with “yes” will be placed in the campaign.

Letter – Attendees will be asked to add their signatures to letters urging Congress to amend the CPSIA to exclude youth vehicles. Last year’s campaign generated over 5,000 hand-signed letters at the show.

E-mail – Computers will be available in the MIC Business Center (Booth # 4508) so members, exhibitors and dealers can quickly and easily send an e-mail to their U.S. Representatives and Senators and to the Congressional oversight committees to urge them to Stop the Ban on youth ATVs and motorcycles. Last year, over 1 million electronic messages were sent to Congress, and they got the attention of Capitol Hill.

Call – A special computer station will be set up in the MIC Business Center (Booth # 4508) with a link to identify appropriate members of Congress, and a Skype account that will enable Expo attendees to call their U.S. Representative and Senators directly from the computer to leave a message.

Video – The MIC is encouraging members, exhibitors and dealers to “Send a Video Message to Congress.” A camera and filming booth will be set up in the MIC Business Center (Booth # 4508) so that Stop the Ban messages can be created, posted online, and forwarded to Congress.

Each of these tools also is available on www.stopthebannow.com.

Enthusiasts and other stakeholders should reinforce three key reasons why youth ATVs and motorcycles should be excluded from the CPSIA’s lead content provisions:

1. The lead content poses no risk to kids. Experts estimate that the lead intake from kids’ interaction with metal parts is less than the lead intake from drinking a glass of water.

2. The key to keeping youth safe is having them ride the right size vehicle. Kids are now at risk because the availability of youth ATVs and motorcycles is limited due to the lead ban.

3. The lead ban hurts the economy for no good reason when everyone is trying to grow the economy and create jobs. MIC estimates that a complete ban on youth model vehicles would result in about $1 billion in lost economic value in the retail marketplace every year.

The MIC supports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request to Congress to give the agency more flexibility to grant exclusions from the lead content limit to address ATVS and motorcycles. The CPSC requested this flexibility in its January 15 report to Congress containing recommendations to improve the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

“MIC calls on Congress to draft legislation as soon as possible to either grant a categorical exemption for these products, as would be provided by H.R. 1587, a pending bill with 56 bi-partisan co-sponsors, or to give the CPSC the flexibility to do so,” Vitrano said.

Visit www.stopthebannow.com for background information, FAQs, and public outreach tools for the Stop The Ban campaign. The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. It is a not-for-profit, national industry association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants. The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office adjacent to Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.

Source [About.com, MIC]