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Feb 11, 2009

ATV Lead Ban, Does It Protect Our Children?

As of February 10th, 2009 a lead ban on all products designed for children ages 12 or under could effectively end the sport of ATV and Motorcycle riding for our children. The act sets the limit at "600 parts per million total lead content by weight for any part of the product." That limit will drop to 300 ppm one year after the date of enactment and 100 ppm three years after unless deemed technologically unfeasible.

Large inventories of motorcycle and ATV products that present no health risk to children could be rendered retroactively illegal and future products prohibited from sale. Motorcycle and ATV components containing lead include lead battery terminals, tire valve stems, fittings and connectors made with brass or copper alloys, brake and clutch levers, throttle controls, engine housings, carburetors made with aluminum alloys, steel fasteners, and frames or structural components made with steel alloys. No one would argue that keeping lead away from our children is a worthwhile concern, but this blanket law doesn't take into account that the lead contained in these types of vehicles could never be ingested by a child and are in such small levels that it would never affect children. Not only that, but other products that our children use every day, such as the family car, tricycles, bicycles etc. also obviously contain lead. Can we really believe that we can protect our children from every hint of danger, no matter how small and insignificant? And, do we really think it is up to the government to regulate what is considered OK and what is not all the time? Perhaps a ban on cars, or the school bus they ride in every day should be included in the ban! Some may ask, if the government is protecting your children then what do you have against it? The answer seems obvious! Spending tax dollars for this type of "protection" is just plain ridiculous. When does it become OUR responsibility to protect us and our children? Of course we all want safety for our kids, but it's not always the government's place to step in and do this. Let's leave room for a little common sense and variety here! Please!

So, let's take a look at what could actually happen here. The motorcycle/ATV industry has gone to great lengths to produce products that are safe for our children. These machines are sized so that a child can operate them safely. The end result of this ban is to eliminate these machines making it more tempting for young riders to hop on bigger machines with more lead, more power, more weight, and higher from the ground increasing the chance of a serious injury even more! Why does the government have to be involved in this process at all? Do they think we don't want what's best for our children. It's in the manufacturer's best interest to produce a safe, reliable machine. Natural market forces drive company's to offer the best machine for our kids at the best price because that's what consumers want! Having unnecessary bans and hoops that manufactures have to jump through will only increase the price, or make them unavailable completely, not make them safer! My child is just as likely to go out and chew on a battery in the garage or my bike, than to sit down and consume the wheel on his or her own dirt bike or ATV anyways, so how does this ban protect our children? The ban also strives to regulate more the specific weight, power, speed etc. of children's dirt bikes and ATVs. according to some safe standard that they find appropriate. These types of things such as throttle controls, remote kill switches, training wheels etc. are already available as I have said from the industry and can be tuned to each child's ability and each parent's judgement. Dirt bikes and ATVs of all sizes, power, weight etc. WERE available.

Any parent that rides with their children knows the joy that comes from it, both from a parent's standpoint and that of the child. This is exactly the kind of activities that keep our children safe from the real dangers of the world such as drugs, pornography, gangs etc. I have read and heard countless stories of kids lives making a turn for the better because of his or her involvement in a motor sport. Although not limited to motor sports, this kind of healthy activity makes families stronger, improves grades, improves the child's outlook on life, and gives many children a sense of confidence that they wouldn't have otherwise. I am a strong believer in a parent's relationship with their children, and I have found no better way to build that relationship than this type of activity. It is important that we make our opinions known to the right people so this act will not destroy the youth ATV and motorcycle market.

There is a waiver now setting before the Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington DC, but has not been acted upon as of yet. You can help by going the following link, read the sample letter, type in your name and address then click "send a letter on my behalf". Do it now! It can't get any easier! NO EXCUSES!


  1. This story was posted on a newspaper's Web site. It's not the entire article, but gives some info.

  2. Thanks..great article! So far, they are not looking to make an exception for atv's and dirt bikes under this law! I have a feeling that dealers and users will have to work around the law to allow kids to ride..putting them on bigger machines, dealers making new designations for youth machines such as stated in the article etc., neither of which is a real good solution and it's costing dealers more to sell the machines which will get passed on to the end user eventually.:(

  3. Read the whole article and i was really shock.... but thanks with this article and a lot of concerned people did some adjustments on rules and regulations.