Coalition Lauds Passage of Bill Mandating ATV Safety Standard

The Coalition for Safe and Responsible ATV Use -- made up of BRP, Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, and Yamaha -- said this week that it applauded Congress for requiring all companies that import or sell all-terrain vehicles in the United States to comply with the same vehicle safety standards and to implement the same training and other safety initiatives that established ATV manufacturers have followed for years. Part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (H.R. 4040) passed by the House of Representatives July 30, the ATV provision creates a mandatory safety standard for ATVs. The Senate also is expected to approve the bill, and President Bush is expected to sign the legislation in August.

"These standards and programs are vital to ensure the safety of American ATV riders," the group said in a statement. "We thank Senators Klobuchar, Pryor and Stevens and the other House and Senate conferees for their support in ensuring that this important ATV safety provision was included in the final Consumer Product Safety bill."

Working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and through the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), established ATV manufacturers developed a voluntary standard for ATVs, under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute, and agreed to implement and follow "ATV Safety Action Plans" that were accepted by CPSC. The ANSI/SVIA standards and Action Plans address safety issues, including 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 coalition said in recent years, non-traditional ATV companies, mostly from China, have entered the market in growing numbers, many of them not complying with the ANSI/SVIA standards and refusing to implement comprehensive safety action plans with CPSC. The coalition estimates sales of these non-compliant ATVs account for approximately one-third of new sales in the United States, and these companies are marketing many of their products directly to those most vulnerable to safety risks, those age 16 and younger.

"Many non-traditional ATVs do not adhere to even minimal safety requirements, nor do the companies provide training or safety information," said coalition spokesman Ed Krenik. "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 United States, both imported and domestic.

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