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MIC testifies in favor of lead law amendment

April 8, 2011
Filed under Features

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee held a hearing Thursday about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in which Paul Vitrano, general counsel of the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), and others testified.

The MIC and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) support amending the CPSIA. The act bans making, importing, distributing or selling any product intended for children 12 years old and younger that contains lead. In effect, youth ATVs and dirt bikes would be prohibited because of lead contents in certain components. The MIC and AMA support amendments that would either change the age limit to products for children 6 years old and younger or exclude off-highway vehicles.

“We appreciate that the subcommittee has offered an initial draft bill,” Vitrano testified. “Within the framework of the draft bill, the only way to stop the ban on youth ATVs and motorcycles with certainty is to amend the range of children’s products – at least for these vehicles –to age 6 and under. Alternatively, we ask you to consider adding a categorical exemption to the bill.”

Republican and Democratic members of the subcommittee agreed with Vitrano, the MIC reported. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) questioned Robert Howell, assistant executive director for hazards identification and reduction at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, during the hearing, arguing that “common sense” indicates youth model off-highway vehicles shouldn’t be subject to the CPSIA lead requirements, according to the AMA.

“The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was written with the best intentions to protect the health and welfare of children. Unfortunately, the strict language in the act is actually leading children to ride ATV’s that are made for adults,” Kinzinger said.

Ed Moreland, AMA’s vice president of government relations, reiterated the association’s support of CPSIA amendments.

“Our best bet to change the law right now in Congress is the Kids Just Want to Ride Act that was introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.),” he said. “We need all concerned parents and riders to contact their federal lawmakers and ask them to support the legislation.”

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