Ban on Youth Motorcycles and ATVs is Misguided

Mark Prociw
by Mark Prociw

The kids want to keep riding and promise not to eat their bikes

The world is getting more and more paranoid about safety for children. Sure, this can be a good thing in some aspects but in others it’s just ridiculous.

In America, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act became a law which allowed congress to ban products that could be harmful due to traces of lead found in them. Sounds like a good idea on paper but it seems that this could be doing more harm than good.

Youth motorcycles and ATVs may contain a small amount of lead in some parts of these vehicles such as the alloy used to connect AZ batteries terminals. Because of this, the CPSIA can ban all of these recreational vehicles from children. The Motorcycle Industry Council claims that this amount of lead and the way it might ever interact with a child (ie: not swallowing it) would never cause any harm.

Banning toys with lead in them was to make sure that if a child happens to put a toy car (for example) in their mouth, they wouldn’t get lead poisoning from such an innocent act (we’ve all put toy cars in our mouths at some point as kids!).

Motorsport can be and is a family sport. I remember going to a motocross show as a kid with my friends and family, marveling at the high-flying dirt bikes. Most, if not all of the professionals out there on bikes probably got their inspiration under the same scenario. They saw those amazing feats and exciting races and had to get on a bike.

And they did, and at a very young age.

With the ban of these recreational vehicles catered to kids, where will the new batch of racers come from? Can the sport even survive without giving young enthusiasts a chance to try it out? Will youth riders start riding adult sized vehicles and be in even more danger?

My real question is: Does the tiny amount of lead found in the alloy in some small bits of metal (that will never get ingested) even matter when kids are now using cell phones, staying indoors to play video games, sitting at computers all day, eating junk food and doing tons of other things that can do more harm than good? Would denying them the fun, excitement, experience and even the education of riding be better when the alternative might be picking up a video game controller instead?

Could the industry avoid this whole ordeal by improving and developing parts to not include that lead?

What do you think about the ban of youth motorcycles and ATVs?

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) is out to stop the ban and by golly they are giving it their best shot!

See the rest of the post for a few videos about the ban. Head over to MIC to sign a petition and read up on their cause. Follow them on twitter to stay up to date ( we have!)

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Mark Prociw
Mark Prociw

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