Two Federal Bills Introduced to End Youth Vehicle Ban

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Each body of U.S. Congress has referred to committee a bill that could end the ban on children’s vehicles containing too much lead.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will consider H.R. 1510, introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana. The short bill amends the law to allow the CPSC to exempt dirtbikes, ATVs and snowmobiles — but only if the commission determines that it is not technologically feasible for the vehicles to comply with the lead limits due to necessary components. [Update: Rep. Rehberg and three other congressman have introduced an improved version of this bill (H.R. 1587) that exempts off-highway vehicles unconditionally.]

More important, the bill strikes out the word “any” from a certain passage of the law. This use of the word, the CPSC has argued, prevents it from exempting powersports vehicles.

The second bill, S. 608, introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (also of Montana), will be considered by the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation. The legislation exempts vehicles intended primarily for children ages 7 and up. Much broader than the House bill, it also excludes all pre-owned children’s products and repairs made to children’s products.