U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia), the Senate Chairman on the commerce committee that oversees the Consumer Product Saftey Commission, has made a signficiant declaration in the battle that rages over the "lead law" and its ban on the sale of youth motorcycles and ATVs. In a front-page story in the Morgantown, WV-based Dominion Post about the ban of motorcycle and ATV sales for products made for children under the age of 13, Rockefeller calls on CPSC commissioners Nord and Moore to immediately go to work with the motorcycle and ATV industry to get appropriately sized machines back in the dealerships for sale.
According to the Dominion Post newspaper report, Rockefeller wrote in an email to the paper, "The Consumer Product Safety Commission has the authority and the discretion to work with the ATV (and motorcycle) industry to immediately have correctly sized vehicles available as well as putting the industry on a path to decrease lead exposure for machines intended for children 12 and under. The solution is clear, I call on the two Commissioners to come together and resolve this issue immediately for the safety of our children."
On Friday, Mrs. Nord issued an opinion in support of a one-year stay on the enforcement of the law for children's ATVs and motorcycles in order to allow lawmakers time to change the law to exclude them. Her point was while it's meant to keep small children from lead poisoning, it causes much bigger and more immediate safety issues by driving parents to buy bikes and ATVs for their kids that are too big for them.
"Today, by law, I cannot sell you any of the size-appropriate bikes for your child, but I can legally sell you an adult bike that's not the right size for your kids," Morgantown Honda's Matt "Megawatt" Watson told the newspaper. He estimates that it's already cost his shop at least 50 sales in the past 60 days.
The story, titled "Law misfires, bans kids' ATVs," also quotes MX Sports' Tim Cotter, who has been working on getting relief for the motorcycle and ATV industry since the CPSIA went into effect in February. "The law failed to exempt certain items or pinpoint certain items it was meant for," said Cotter. "If you are a parent you don't want your kids sucking on a toy with lead paint -- but the law is so broad it ecompasses everything."
For the whole story, check out www.dominionpost.com