SVIA Urges Quick Action on Stevens Legislation


Measure promulgates ATV standards.

The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) is endorsing ATV safety legislation introduced by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), and at press time was calling for its quick enactment by Congress.

The All-Terrain Vehicle Standards and Compliance Act of 2007 would require all ATV manufacturers, whether domestic or foreign, to comply with the same basic industry safety standards, and to provide adequate training, safety information and product support under plans approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

"We applaud Senator Stevens for introducing legislation that addresses the urgent need to ensure the safety of ATV riders, particularly children, by regulating ATVs being sold by manufacturers new to the U.S. market that do not meet minimum safety standards," says SVIA president Tim Buche.

At first glance, it appears that manufacturers are actually asking for additional hurdles to doing business. However, according to Buche, they're simply attempting to create a level playing field by forcing all market entrants to adhere to the same guidelines.

Major manufacturers and distributors of ATVs in the United States work closely with the CPSC on safety programs and adhere to voluntary action plans filed with the agency. These action plans include:

  • Free hands-on training through the ATV Safety Institute;
  • Restrictions on the marketing and sale of adult-sized ATVs to children;
  • Undercover investigations to ensure dealer compliance with youth ATV sales restrictions; and
  • Comprehensive safety programs.

"SVIA endorses this legislation because it is critical to the safety of our customers, particularly young riders, to make the voluntary industry standards, responsible ATV practices and the offer of free training with purchase mandatory for any ATV sold in the U.S.," Buche says.

Almost none of the new entrant ATV companies adheres to even minimal safety requirements, according to SVIA. The association says it has contacted many of the new entrant companies, provided copies of the safety standards, and encouraged participation in the safety programs offered by the established ATV manufacturers. With the exception of those member companies that have joined SVIA in recent years, SVIA has had virtually no response from the new companies.