By William M. Welch
, USA TODAY LOS ANGELES
Angry with a nationwide ban on sales of youth motorcycles and ATVs over lead concerns, one of the biggest dealers in Southern California plans to sell the child-size vehicles today despite potential criminal penalties.
Malcolm Smith, a Riverside, Calif., dealer and major figure in off-road motorcycling for four decades, is challenging federal officials to come and get him.
Smith, 68, says he plans to sell several of the youth-targeted vehicles to people who are already prepared to pay for them. He says he has told the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the federal agency charged with enforcing the ban passed by Congress last year.
"I've been paying attention to all the rules and regulations, giving them some time to do something about it," Smith says. "They have no idea what this is doing to small businesses."
Since taking effect Feb. 10, the law passed has made it illegal to sell off-road vehicles and accessories — including used vehicles and replacement parts — aimed at children 12 and younger because of small amounts of lead in alloys used in parts of the vehicles. Smith says he is prohibited even from selling helmets and other safety gear aimed at youth.
Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-03-18-motorcycle-kids_N.htm