CPSC Votes to Write Side-by-Side Rules

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According to the Associated Press, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to write mandatory rules to regulate side-by-sides that can reach speeds in excess of 30 mph (vehicles the government refers to as ROVs). Dealernews hasn’t been able to confirm the decision, and it hasn’t yet been posted on the agency’s website. (See update below.)

We reported last week that CPSC staff had called for rulemaking after rejecting a voluntary standard proposed by an industry group.

That industry group was the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, a nonprofit association founded by Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris and Yamaha. It has issued a statement in which it calls the staff’s recommendation premature.

Update: The CPSC has acknowledged the vote for an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on its website. The ANPR invites written comments from the public regarding the risks of injury associated with ROVs and ways in which these risks could be addressed. Following publication of the ANPR, the public will have 60 days to provide comments to the commission. Comments can be submitted at www.regulations.gov.

In conjunction with the vote, CPSC chairman Inez Tenenbaum issued the following statement:

“The need for federal rulemaking on ROVs is the consequence of not having a voluntary standard that effectively safeguards consumers. I have reviewed numerous death and injury reports tied to ROVs and I believe CPSC can play a vital role in making them safer. While we work on new safety rules for ROVs, I urge all riders and passengers to strap on a helmet, use the seat belt, know the terrain, and never allow anyone under 16 to drive these vehicles."

Posted by Arlo Redwine