Well, perhaps common sense is beginning to prevail with big government but it's only a baby step. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal entity charged with enforcing the recently enacted "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008" (CPSIA) from Congress, has voted to "stay enforcement" (meaning no prosecution) of that law currently banning the sale of youth-model motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. The stay, which extends through May 1, 2011, follows a unanimous vote by Acting Chairwoman Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore. Originally intended to protect children from lead in toys that might easily end up in children's mouths (read our blog here), the overly-generalized language of the legislation affects a number of products that have little exposure risk, including youth-model motorcycles and ATVs. Because it made the sale of these models technically illegal, manufacturers and dealerships were forced to pull all of these models off their floors, as well as stop the sale of parts associated with the models. While it has caused serious financial and logistical problems for the manufacturers, of even more importance is that it has impacted many local dealerships who were already hanging by a financial thread. And many of those same dealerships also sell sportbikes so this is not something to be taken lightly by any motorcyclist who cares about the sport.
While this is a small victory, it should be noted that this is only a temporary hold on enforcement of the law. And there are no guarantees that state attorneys general will also decline to take cases that deal with this portion of the law. The only way to get the ban lifted completely is to have the original CPSIA amended to exclude products where exposure risk is minimal and were outside the intent of the law as youth model ORVs are.
Everyone should contact their federal lawmakers and ask them to support legislation to exempt youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA by logging onto www.stopthebannow.com or going to the "Rights" and then "Issues and Legislation" section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.