A new law designed to keep children from being exposed to lead in toys has led to a ban on selling small motorcycles and ATVs to children under 12 despite little defined risk of lead exposure from the vehicles.
A spokesperson for the Consumer Product Safety Commission explained that in August of last year Congress passed a very sweeping child safety law, that resulted in some of the strictest lead rules in the world. The law applies to all products meant for children under the age of 12, including small off road vehicles.
When we spoke to Randy Gillespie at Golden State Cycle, he explained that he has had to put the bikes into storage in order to avoid paying fines for selling the motorcycles. Gillespie added that he has four local customers who want to buy motorbikes so they can go riding with their kids, but he cant legally sell the vehicles.
The Consumer Product Safety spokesperson says that the commission doesnt believe that children are chewing on the motorcycles, but the concern is with any hand to mouth contact. Some lead is used when some of the metal parts for the engine are cast. There also may be an issue with the handlebar grips, the spokesperson explained.
He added that they have received thousands of letters from dealers and riders across the country, which will have been taken seriously.
With this new wide ranging zero tolerance lead law already passed, now the lawmakers are working to add some tolerance back in. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is working on some exceptions with a decision possible in the next few weeks.
If the commission doesnt make an exception for the dirt bikes, it would then take an act of congress to get the small motorcycles back on the market.