About the author

Myron Levin is editor of FairWarning.

2 comments to “Battling Safety Rules for Off-Road Vehicles, Industry Gets Boost From Senators”

  1. carolyn anderson

    For families who’s children have been killed operating off-road motor vehicles the regulatory foot-dragging described by Myron Levin deepens our sense of grief and hopelessness. Many families purchased ATVs and ROVs with limited knowledge of the carnage they are capable of causing. Other parents of the 3000 plus children killed operating ATVs and ROVs didn’t own the vehicles. Their children were victims of the uninformed parents of friends. The tragic story has been being told for over 30 years with no signs of stopping. I have never owned an ATV yet my son has been dead for 10 years as a result of driving a friend’s ATV. I miss him every day and there are thousands of parents just like me. If our elected officials really cared something would have been done by now.

  2. ben kelley

    Advocates of increased safety in the design of ROVs and ATVs have long been frustrated by the kind of regulatory foot-dragging described in this excellent overview. CPSC is fettered by the requirement that before it can set meaningful safety rules to reduce product hazards, it must first let “voluntary standards” by industry try to do the job – which, of course, they can’t. The interest of ROV/ATV manufacturers is in selling products and making money. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but to expect the same manufacturers to needlessly spend money on developing and adopting injury prevention features for their products is deadly wishful thinking.

    Imagine that instead of today’s federal motor vehicle regulations – which are insufficiently strong as it is – the auto industry was allowed to set its own vehicle safety rules. It’s unlikely that modern cars would have standard-equipment airbags, improved safety belts, or rollover-preventing Electronic Stability Control systems. Congress wisely rejected the auto industry’s pleas for self-regulation back in 1966, and instead enacted mandatory auto-safety rulemaking by the federal government. It’s a far from perfect system – witness today’s scandals over NHTSA coziness with the auto makers and defect cover-ups – but it beats the “voluntary standards” approach by a mile.

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