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Aug. 11, 2008 – Congress passes new ATV safety standard bill

August 11, 2008
Filed under Features

Congress has passed a provision that requires all companies that import or sell ATVs in the United States to comply with the same vehicle safety standards, reported the Coalition for Safe and Responsible ATV Use.
The coalition is comprised of BRP, Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki and Yamaha, and partnered with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA). They worked together to come up with specific standards.
Some of the standards now required include appropriate configuration and performance aspects of ATVs, speed restrictions on youth ATVs, free hands-on training programs and promotion of helmets and other proper gear. The established manufacturers also provide cash or product incentives for new ATV purchasers who complete the training course.
The provision was included with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. President George W. Bush is expected to sign the legislation this month. Ed Krenik, Coalition spokesperson, says the provision will increase the safety for ATV consumers.
“These standards and programs are vital to ensure the safety of American ATV riders,” said Krenik in the release. “We want to thank Senators Klobuchar, Pryor and Stevens and the other House and Senate conferees for their continued support in making sure that this important ATV safety provision was included in the final Consumer Product Safety bill.
In recent years, non-traditional ATV companies, mostly from China, have entered the market in growing numbers. Many of these companies do not comply with the SVIA standards and have refused to implement comprehensive safety Action Plans with the CPSC. Sales of these non-compliant ATVs are estimated to account for approximately one-third of the new sales market in the U.S. Moreover, these companies are marketing many of these products directly to those most vulnerable to safety risks, those aged 16 and younger.
“Many non-traditional ATVs do not adhere to even minimal safety requirements, nor do the companies provide training or safety information,” Krenik said. “The poor quality of many of these ATVs create a danger for all ATV riders, particularly young riders, who are being targeted by these companies.”
The ATV provision codifies the current voluntary standards and Action Plans. In effect, the bill creates immediate mandatory standards for all ATVs sold in the U.S., both imported and domestic units.
“The big winners in this legislation are American consumers, who can be assured that any new ATV they buy in the U.S. will adhere to the safety standards and training programs developed over the past 20 years.”
For more information on this story, read an upcoming edition of Powersports Business. psb

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