New Federal Law Bans ATVs for Children

Brian Lackey, B & R Go Karts
Brian Lackey, B & R Go Karts

A new federal law is being called well-intentioned and ill-applied. It aims to protect kids from toxic lead levels, which means ATVs and dirt bikes, which contain lead batteries, must be taken off the market.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, says vehicles aimed at kids younger than twelve, meaning 110CCs or less, are unsafe. They're fast, they're fun, and now they're illegal. "It's nuts." Brian Lackey, owner of B & R Go Karts, has been selling kids ATVs and dirt bikes for eight years. "I don't know anybody who has ever wanted to eat their ATV, didn't know anyone who wanted to lick the battery."

The Motorcycle Council says children would most come into contact with lead through their hands. They have already submitted scientific data to prove that contact is not dangerous. The Council's Paul Vitrano says, "It's actually less than a child would come in contact with from drinking water."

Lackey says, "We've already turned down three people who at first thought it was maybe a joke or something." Sixty percent of Lackey's business comes from selling kids products... Products he says are now costing him thousands because they cannot be sold. But he is still making money on go-karts. "Now they both have the same battery. Some of them have the same identical engine between the go kart and the ATV, and if I had my guess I would say they're painted with the same paint."

Despite that, go karts are still for sale. The reason... The CPSC does not regulate them. A CPSC spokeswoman tells NewsChannel 10 this law was never intended to ban sales of ATVs and dirt bikes, but until an exception is granted, it is still illegal to sell them or their parts. The comment period on the issue ends on Wednesday, February 18th, so a decision is expected with in the next few weeks.