An industry warning flag
November 12, 2010
Filed under From the Editors
Or better said, youth ATV warnings.
The omen came to mind after I saw an article on new warning labels being stuck on cigarette packs. These labels aren’t your typical “cigarettes cause cancer” warnings, but something much, much more striking. And visual. Pictures of corpses and medical images that are just downright difficult to look at. Sickening stuff.
The federal government is requiring these graphic warning labels on cigarette packages by next fall. If you don’t have a squeamish stomach, you can view them at www.fda.gov/cigarettewarnings.
So what’s the connection to the youth ATV standards? Do you recall years back when ATV youth safety standards were being reexamined and one of the proposals called for some serious warnings to quad consumers about youth safety? Warnings that went beyond advising parents about how old a child should be before they ride an ATV, but actually sharing statistics about youth ATV injuries and fatalities.
That discussion led to the Consumer Product Safety Commission mandating an “ATV Safety Alert,” which is provided to consumers at the time of an ATV purchase. The Safety Alert is mostly a review of what should not be done on an ATV, such as carrying a passenger on a single-passenger ATV.
That Safety Alert, however, also cites a statistic that reveals how many people have died in accidents associated with ATVs since 2004.
The new graphic cigarette warning labels make me shudder to think that in the future perhaps a few sentences won’t be enough of a warning in the eyes of government officials.
Yes, the new cigarette warning labels are a result of a law that was passed in 2009 and clearly that law doesn’t impact youth ATV standards. But, boy, the limits we’re stretching to in order to remind the consumer that there is a reaction to every action is, well, a bit scary.