New ATV regulations on the table
WASHINGTON – Three-wheeled all-terrain vehicles would be banned and four-wheelers intended for children wouldn’t go faster than 15 mph, under rules suggested Thursday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s staff.The recommendations would also require ATV manufacturers to offer free training to families when they buy ATVs.”Limiting maximum speed is the most critical safety factor for youth ATV models,” the commission staff said in the report outlining a series of recommendations to reduce the death toll from the vehicles.ATVs cause hundreds of deaths every year and tens of thousands of injuries.The commission said 18 people died in ATV accidents during the 2006 Memorial Day holiday.Last year, ATVs caused 4,400 injuries during the Friday through Monday Memorial Day period, the most recent for which the commission has injury data.The commission staff recommended that:- For children ages 6 to 8, ATVs shouldn’t go faster than 10 mph.- For children from 9 to 11, ATVs shouldn’t be able to go faster than 15 mph and they should have a device – which parents can turn on or off – that would limit their speed to 10 mph.- For those 12 and older, ATVs shouldn’t go faster than 30 mph and should have devices that could limit their speed to 15 mph.Major ATV manufacturers have agreed to stop selling three-wheeled ATVs, which are three times as likely to cause injury as the four-wheeled variety, the report said. But there are new kinds of three-wheeled vehicles being sold in the U.S., and a ban would “help ensure that three-wheeled ATVs will not be reintroduced into the U.S. market,” the report said.Manufacturers and distributors of ATVs should have to give people who buy an ATV a certificate entitling them and their immediate families to free training on the vehicle, the report said.A patchwork of state regulations apply to the vehicles, but there are no federal laws governing ATVs. The commission does have voluntary agreements with big ATV manufacturers to discourage sales of ATVs intended for use by children.The staff will recommend that the commission propose the new regulations at a June 15 meeting, and the commission will later vote on whether to do so.
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