Grassroots Movement to End Ban Grows

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U.S. Congress is getting the message loud and clear: More children are being endangered each day the ban on certain youth vehicles continues. So we need legislation to lift the ban, and we need it now.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives this week unanimously passed a resolution urging Congress to amend the regulations.

Missouri state Rep. Tom Self is coming off a 10-day, five-state tour during which he encouraged people to file protests via his website at www.tomself.com. More than 100,000 people have already done so, the MIC claimed Monday.

“If CPSC believes its hands are tied because of the way the legislation was written,” the MIC reported Self as saying, “we ask Congress to amend the law to restore common sense and make exclusions available. Congress and CPSC must make it a priority to stop this ban now.”

Missouri passed its own resolution in February. A city way over in California, Lake Elsinore, borrowed the text in a resolution it passed Tuesday.

And as most readers know, Malcolm Smith sold three of the banned vehicles at his dealership last week, during which store staff collected signatures for letters to local politicians.

Three arguments seem to be at the forefront: 1) that the lead exposure from youth vehicles is harmless (on par with food and water), 2) that parents are endangering their children by putting them on larger vehicles because smaller ones aren’t available, and 3) that kids are riding vehicles made dangerous due to neglect because dealerships aren’t allowed to repair them or sell replacement parts.

Beyond the grassroots level, U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana introduced last week an improved version of a reform bill he had already introduced. Whereas the earlier bill (H.R. 1510) exempts off-road vehicles only if the commission decides it’s not technologically feasible for the vehicles to comply with the lead limits, the later bill (H.R. 1587) exempts off-road vehicles unconditionally.

And whereas the earlier bill had no co-sponsors, this one has three: Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas, Rep. Michael Simpson of Idaho, and Rep. Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota.