Congress must amend CPSIA to exclude ATVs, motorcycles, says MIC's Vitrano

Publish Date: 
Feb 13, 2010

IRVINE, Calif. The Motorcycle Industry Council is gearing up to address federal regulations this year that pose a threat to the industry, said Paul Vitrano, MIC general counsel, in a speech to the annual meeting of the MIC Friday morning at the Hyatt.

The industry is still fighting the CPSC ban on the sale of youth ATVs and motorcycles that do not meet lead requirements spelled out in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008. At the same time, Vitrano said the CPSC is developing regulations that would “effectively ban” off-highway, side-by-side recreational vehicles (ROV).

“The time is now to stop the (lead-based) ban once and for all,” Vitrano said. Noting that the CPSC has asked Congress for the flexibility to lift the ban on youth ATVs and motorcycles, and that there are indications that Congress is willing to solve “the unintended consequences of this well-intentioned, but ill-conceived law,” Vitrano told the audience that Congress has to amend the CPSIA to “exempt or permit exclusions” for ATVs and motorcycles.

Vitrano urged the gathering to take advantage of the MIC’s extensive multimedia campaign at this weekend’s Dealer Expo to contact their congressional representatives in Washington. (See related story on Page X.) “We need your help to drive your dealers, employees, and customers to www.stopthebannow.com, so they can send a message to Congress,” he said.

Meanwhile, CPSC has proposed such strict new requirements on SXS vehicles that they could “effectively ban ROVs as we currently know them,” said Vitrano. “We need to convince the CPSC not to adopt design-restrictive mandatory standards,” he said, “but rather work with industry to maintain… voluntary standards and to address behavior that is causing crashes and injuries.”

The industry, through its Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROVA), an affiliate of the MIC, has developed a voluntary safety standard for ROVs, according to Vitrano. “Even though the data is clear that over 90 percent of people who are seriously injured on UTVs violated at least one safety rule,” the CPSC still proposed restrictive mandatory federal standards on this segment of machines, he noted.

Vitrano called on SXS stakeholders to send comments to the CPSC before its March 15 deadline on proposed rulemaking. ROHVA has created a site, www.rohva.org/anpr, which can be accessed from rohva.org, to help individuals submit comments. The ANPR (Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) site provides a variety of easy-to-use tools for researching and commenting on the proposed rules.

– Joe Delmont