Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Update on Youth OHV Lead Issue

Hey guys… good to be back. One of the questions that I fielded during my leave was for an update on the OHV lead issue. As most of you know, there are two remedies underway.

One – The second CPSC commissioner cast his vote on April 17 in favor of a stay of enforcement of the ban. The General agrees with MIC Counsel

MIC News Release

that at best this would be only an interim solution which still may not “fix” the problem. There is a school of thought in the OHV community that a stay of enforcement would not prevent a lawsuit brought by an overzealous anti-OHV group, a state attorney general, or some other interest that has a political agenda guised as concern for public health.

I believe just such an example exists at Clear Creek where you have an agency that initially stated to OHV groups that the reason they were closing Clear Creek was because they “had been threatened” with a “health-related” lawsuit. Since there is not one documented case of mesothelioma from naturally occurring asbestos (the kind that is at Clear Creek) one might draw the conclusion that because there are cases of lead poisoning (i.e. eating old lead paint chips, etc -- and not from eating dirt bike parts!) that we could see a flood of public-interest lawsuits filed if the “Youth OHV” tenets of CPSIA are not enforced.

Two – For some time, The General has been asking his troops to support a legislative fix to this crisis. In the Senate there is S. 608 and in the House of Representatives there is H.R. 1587. Continue to ask your Member of Congress to support those efforts to find a permanent fix to this grossly unfortunate situation.

The saga continues…


  1. Don - unless S. 608 has been fixed, it merely transfers the problem from 6-12 y.o. machines to under 6 y.o. machines, like those manufactured by OSET (www.osetbikes.com). I personally believe we need to keep the pressure on to make sure parents, not CPSC bureaucrats or legislators, are the ones making the decision at what age kids can start riding. I speak as a parent with 3 kids, all of whom started riding the OSET electric trials motorcycles well before their sixth birthdays. Yound kids CAN ride safely, but many people like Commissioner Moore (make sure you read the full text of his opinion) think a stay is a devil's bargain to keep manufacturers from labeling de-restricted machines for "inappropriate" ages. Moore also stated that he thinks no responsible parent should put their kid on a motorized vehicle and he's going with the stay simply to keep young kids off full-sized machines.

  2. I agree, the original S 608 needed some work. I understand that it will be improved to address problems. I read Moore's statement and feel that Congress needs to fix a poorly written law.

    It seems that in this day and age that bills are being offered and signed without anybody reading it. I spent over 100 hours working on the lang. of SB742 in the summer of 2007 so that it made sense and accomplished the goal of providing Californians with an ecolgically balanced OHV program. I agree too that parents should only put kids on size approp. vehicles.

    Those Osetbikes look pretty cool. I wish they were around when my sons (now ages 25 and 29) were young.

    Thanks for the feedback.