Tester introduces ‘Dirt Bike Bill’

‘Common sense’ bill makes exceptions to Consumer Product Safety Act

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today introduced legislation that will once again allow motorsports dealers to sell dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and parts for use by young people.

Tester’s bill changes the Consumer Product Safety Act, which President Bush signed into law last fall.

The Consumer Product Safety Act is designed to keep dangerous products, like toys that contain high levels of lead, away from children.

But many have criticized the law for over-reaching.  It has forced many motorsports dealers and repair shops to stop selling common vehicles like dirt bikes and ATVs for use by children because the vehicles contain internal, unsealed lead parts.  As a result, some parents are allowing their children to ride unsafe, adult-sized vehicles.

Tester’s bill, called the Dirt Bike Bill, makes two exceptions to the Consumer Product Safety Act:

  • It allows manufacturers and retailers to build and sell vehicles intended for children between the ages of 7 and 12 without having to meet lead standards that apply to toys.  The bill says vehicles made for seven to 12-year olds are not “children’s products” and therefore do not have to meet lead safety standards.
  • It prevents second-hand sellers (thrift stores, flea markets, online auctions, yard sales) from being liable for products that contain dangerous levels of lead.  For example, if a person were to sell a toy at a yard sale without knowing it contains lead paint, the toy manufacturer would be liable, not the seller.

“This is a common sense piece of legislation that will open the doors again to families that consider motorsports a part of life in Montana,” said Ed Staack, owner of Staack’s Motorsports in Butte.  “Nobody wants our kids exposed to lead toys, but kids also don’t go outside and eat their dirt bikes.  Jon understands that and is doing something about it.”

“If something’s broken, we Montanans want it fixed,” said Tester, who is currently Vice Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.  “And right now the Consumer Product Safety Act needs fixing.  My bill will protect small businesses and allow families better, safer access to the outdoors.”

Tester’s Dirt Bike Bill is formally known as the Common Sense in Consumer Safety Act.