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  • CPSC FOIA Overview #2: Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    HEARING All-Terrain Vehicles
    DATE September 3, 1985
    PLACE Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    TIME 9:05 a m

    The document and its entirety may be found here

    Part 1 of the CPSC public hearing in Milwaukee Wisconsin for ATV safety. September 3rd, 1985.

    I've spent MANY MANY hours working on reading through the transcript of this meeting. It is incredibly lengthy, roughly 360 pages. I had wanted to save and present this all at one time but I've decided to go ahead and present what I already do have, and finish it up with part 2 at a later date. There is some really good testimony, and interesting comments and statements that I intend to overview and cover below. I hope that you will be able to keep and objective mind and study these statements as your reading them, to base and form your own conclusions. When possible I've noted the exact page and line of statements beginning so it is easy for you to cross reference yourself on the full 360 page .pdf file that is linked to above. Lets begin:

    Page 15: Commenting by Wisconsin Senator, brings up how Environmental aspects of ATV use are to be considered as well. Was the ban a scape goat for the tree huggers to get rid of large chunk of motorized recreation?

    Page 22: Beginning public comments, by Walter Olmstead of Carl Heald, Inc. (Maker of super trykes and low gravity three-wheelers, minibikes, etc)

    Page 26:
    Olmstead mentions how his company is unable to get any liability insurance on their products because of how the media has made anything with 3 or 4 large soft tires out to be dangerous. Not that it was expensive, but that they couldn't get it at all.

    Page 40: Comments from a guy named Clay White begin, he is a chairman of some do-gooder non-profit "concerned Consumers League."

    Page 44: Clay White Accuses manufactures of knowing the machines were dangerous and doing nothing about it.

    Page 52: Panel member Jane Jansen, part of the Wisconsin Branch of the CPSC states the following after being asked how the injuries of ATVs compares to others.

    1 MS JANSEN It's at a very low level number in
    2 relation to other investigations But in reviewing the five
    3 that we have handled,
    1 One of the accidents did appear that there was a good
    8 level of user fault And that, in a product safety
    9 investigation, normally just throws it out of whack as far as
    10 It being a product fault And in that particular incident
    11 you had two young girls whose attention was distracted, and
    12 they were driving, and they hit a tree fell, the only thing
    13 that would concern me about that accident is what happened,
    14 in that the vehicle turned over
    Page 56, interesting discussion regarding how coroners don't typically mark or explain how alcohol or other substance abuse might have contributed to the death of a person:

    MR SCANLON Mr Krantz, for the death
    20 certificates processed by your department, do you know what
    21 percentage of those deaths on ATVs were alcohol related'' Ms
    22 Jansen mentioned that, in the five investigated by her
    23 department, alcohol or drug abuse was not involved
    24 MR KRANTZ In the ones that I have looked at,
    25 there was no mention made on the certificates But that's

    1 not to say that it didn't happen Because there is no
    2 particular place on the death certificate for the coroner or
    3 the medical examiner or doctor to specifically enter whether
    4 there was alcohol use involved in that So in lots of cases
    5 well, I shouldn't say in lots of cases I'm sure in some
    6 cases, certainly from motor vehicles and that and, say,
    7 suicide deaths, the mention of alcohol doesn't get mentioned
    8 for various reasons So there possibly could have been some
    9 But from the certificates, none did mention that

    Page 65,
    admittance that their accidents they investigated, NONE of the injured were wearing helmets:

    MR DeFIORE In the five accidents that you
    19 investigated, in how many instances were the riders wearing
    20 helmets or other safety equipmenf
    21 MS JANSEN I don't believe we had a single one
    22 where there was even so much as a helmet on them, which I
    23 find curious Because I also know people who are involved in
    24 the motor cross, fun types of things with children And
    25 those groups are very safety conscious, very equipment
    1 conscious And it's totally seems to be totally absent in
    2 this particular area

    On page 71, the testimony from "injured" parties begins.

    Page 75:

    MR DESMOND My name is Noah Desmond I'm 16
    17 years of age My accident happened when I was 15 I was
    18 driving around our house on an ATV, and I went to take a turn
    19 I leaned into the turn, and the ATV turned too much There
    20 was a car parked in our driveway I panicked and pressed the
    21 accelerator instead of the brake I hit the left rear bumper
    22 of the car and smashed my foot, my left foot, in between the
    23 car and the ATC The ATV tipped once and was in the other
    24 side of the driveway when I woke up
    25 I would just like to say I think there is something
    1 wrong with the handling on the ATCs, and I don't like the
    2 setup, how they have the accelerator, the brake and the
    3 clutch and everything all on the handlebars So I think that
    4 should be changed There is something about that
    5 Thank you
    Pages 75-81 Start of testimony by the father of a 12 year old boy that was put into a coma from a roll over of a QUAD by riding double without a helmet when it didn't make it up an incline and went over backwards. Heart wrenching...but not the machines fault. Father complains about the lack of warning by the dealer during the sale, no warning labels on the machine, that it was portrayed as stable and safe in advertisements, was told to be safer than the three-wheeler, etc.

    Pages 81-82
    Commissioner Dawson asks Mr. Erickson about the lack of warning labels he had mentioned:

    MRS DAWSON I was interested in what you said about the lack of
    25 any instruction or warnings on the machine on which your son


    1 was injured Were there no labels that you recall giving any
    2 instructions, particularly about double riding'? I think
    3 that's one of the rules which the industry itself and the
    4 associated trade association has been very, very firm about
    5 MR ERICKSON As I recall that day, I looked at
    6 the machine very briefly But I haven't had a chance to ask
    7 my brother, or my brother-in-law, too many questions because
    8 there is a lawsuit pending And I was happy that my
    9 sister-in-law shared some of that information with me
    10 However, one attorney told me that the warning is very
    11 insufficient It's small, and it's hidden underneath the
    12 apparently underneath the riding area It's not supposed to
    13 be a riding area, but a luggage rack And according to a
    14 spokesman, I believe it was for Honda, on 20/20, he said that
    15 It wasn't what they had hoped it would be And I think that
    16 that's an admission that it is obviously insufficient
    Page 86:

    5 MR DESMOND Yes, exactly I can't really judge
    6 the steering of an ATC Usually when I turn, it turns a
    7 little But this time it turned a lot And I couldn't move
    8 away from the car
    9 MR DeFIORE Was there anything that you could
    10 think of now, looking back on it, that you could have done
    11 that might have prevented the accidenf?
    12 MR DESMOND Yes Hit the brake, not the
    13 accelerator But I panicked, so
    14MR DeFIORE Meg, have you had training in riding
    15 an ATV"?
    16 MS PETULLO Yes Well, sort of Not really My
    17 friend just showed me right before I started riding it how to
    18 do It, but just briefly
    19 MR DeFIORE Okay Before you had your accident,
    20 did you know that riding two on a bike was unsafe'?
    21 MS PETULLO No, I didn't
    22 MR DeFIORE Did you know that riding on an
    23 asphalt surface was unsafe'?
    24 MS PETULLO No
    25 MR DeFIORE As you think back about that accident,
    1 can you think of anything that happened then that you could
    2 have done to prevent the accidenf?
    3 MS PETULLO Probably put on the brakes, same
    4 thing But, yeah, I put the speed on instead of the brake,
    5 as he did I put the speed on
    Page 88-90, Testimony of Mr Joswick, Coroner of Marathon county:

    In July of last year we had a seven-year-old child
    21 killed while operating an all-terrain vehicle This
    22 seven-year-old child was operating the vehicle on her
    23 father's farm There was an even younger child, age 20
    24 months, riding along as a passenger on the all-terrain
    25 vehicle The seven-year-old lost control of the vehicle It
    1 jumped over a road into a ditch, overturned and caused the
    2 death of the seven-year-old child
    3 The second instance happened in November of '84 and
    4 involved the death of a 33-year-old man who was a passenger
    5 on an ATV driven by a 25-year-old This vehicle was being
    6 operated on a sidewalk as it crossed the bridge on a city
    7 street The vehicle scraped the railing of the sidewalk,
    8 turned over, and it is uncertain whether death was caused by
    9 the vehicle overturning on the passenger or whether he struck
    10 the pavement in some way
    11 The third instance happened in June of this year in
    12 which three or two 15-year-olds were operating an ATV They
    13 were operating the ATV on a country gravel road They failed
    14 to stop for a stop sign and drove out into the path of an
    15 oncoming vehicle
    16 A comparison to these three fatalities reveals some
    17 interesting things In no cases was any protective head gear
    18 worn, either by the passengers or the operators of the
    19 vehicle In two of the three cases, the operators were very
    20 unfamiliar with the operation of the vehicle In one
    21 instance, the owner of the vehicle and the operator had had
    22 the vehicle one day The other instance was that of the
    23 young child, who was clearly unable to operate the vehicle
    24 properly The third instance involves the 15-year-old, who
    25 simply did not obey a common sense traffic control, even

    1 though he was operating the vehicle illegally
    2 I think that the incidence of these tragic deaths in
    3 our county is of great concern to the medical community in
    4 our area, as well as to the law enforcement community
    5 With respect to the ages involved, I, as a parent,
    6 cannot believe that any parent would knowingly place their
    7 child in a situation of danger or potential harm It seems
    8 to me, therefore, that the problem which has been discussed
    9 before of the perception of parents in particular of the
    10 danger of these vehicles is a very real problem
    11 We see a large number of advertisements which appear
    12 very benign and do not address the dangers involved I think
    13 It is absolutely essential that we attempt some sort of
    14 competency testing on the part of the operators of
    15 all-terrain vehicles

    Page 96
    Excellent testimony about the high percentages of head injuries and related deaths that more than likely could have been cured with a helmet:

    11 First of all, the age range of the people who have
    12 died associated with the usage of all-terrain vehicles has
    13 ranged from age 70 to age seven So these are not just
    14 limited to children, though I think that children or
    15 adolescents provide some of the more common people who use
    16 these vehicles But I thought that was of interest and
    17 should be mentioned
    18 Secondly, the most common cause of or immediate cause
    19 of death with these individuals is a head injury 70 percent
    20 of these victims died due to a head injury
    Page 98, Robert Kral of the 3,500 member Audobon society mentions a few different thing such as riding in areas that are environmentally sensitive, loud exhausts scaring away birds, machines without differentials causing ground erosion.

    21 As stated in Product Safety and Liability Reporter
    22 dated 10/26/85 by Alan R Isley, president of Specialty
    23 Vehicle Institute of America, a group that supports off-road
    24 vehicles, the type of person who buys an ATV is usually hard
    25 to instruct, buys it for freedom and adventure, and usually
    1 resists training
    Page 101-103, Mr. Kieltyka, which has experience in training motorcycle programs. Does a good job at refuting some of the earlier comments and statements.

    ...4 Further, ATVs with four wheels have visual
    5 similarities to automobiles These factors mask the risk
    6 involved with ATV operation, such that many riders never
    7 suspect any difficulty in operating the vehicle
    8 Further, parents caught in this deception allow
    9 children to operate the vehicles without training or
    10 supervision, likewise not recognizing that it is a motor
    11 vehicle Just as you wouldn't allow a child to use a power
    12 saw unsupervised, they shouldn't be allowed to use ATVs
    13 unsupervised Just as you wouldn't allow a child on a
    14 motorcycle or a moped without a helmet, they shouldn't be
    15 left on an ATV without proper protective gear

    I would like to address a couple other things that
    5 have been brought up earlier this morning The comments on
    6 rider error, for instance My full-time job is dealing with
    7 motorcycle rider training I know from that that, in auto
    8 driving and auto accidents, as well as in motorcycle
    9 accidents, only 2 percent of the accidents are from vehicle
    10 failure Most of it is operator error, in particular with
    11 ATVs because they do not handle like other vehicles They
    12 look like other vehicles They look like big wheels or
    13 tricycles They may look like an auto if they have four
    14 wheels But they do not handle like other vehicles
    15 The idea of inducing instability that has been brought
    16 up IS incorrect In order to turn, there are two techniques
    17 The technique you use depends on the speed you are traveling
    Page 106: Scanlon (chairman) asks Hargarten a few questions.

    MR SCANLON And our resources would be made
    20 available to you
    21 Dr Hargarten, I had a number of questions concerning
    22 your review of the 17 deaths Did all those occur in
    23 Wisconsin"?
    25 MR SCANLON They did wer helmets used in any of those available were there was a head injury?
    DR HARAGRETEN I do not have that information available. That is not required to be mentioned on the death certificate. So if there were individuals using helmets it may or may not have been recorded. There may be other individuals who may know the specific deaths that occurred due to head injury, and they know for sure that the person didn't wear a helmet but I am not sure.
    Page 108:

    25 MR SCANLON Let me ask you this Would helmets have prevented any of the head injuries of these children?
    JOSWICK I think in at least two cases, had the individuals been wearing helmets, they would have stood an excellent chance of survival.
    Page 116: Pre-cursor to keyed switches on machines in 87 and after?

    MS DAWSON Let me ask you about the vehicle
    23 Itself Do you -- in the ones that you have experience with,
    24 do you believe that the design and performance aspects are as
    25 safe as they can be''

    1 MR KIELTYKA I think they are as safe as they
    2 need to be, yes
    3 MS DAWSON Would you make a recommendation for
    4 any changes''
    5 MR KIELTYKA Yes I would like to see keys on
    6 them so that unsupervised use could be monitored So if I'm
    7 not riding it, I take the key
    8 MS DAVJSON That is a significant one Because
    9 most of them are either started by rope pull or switch
    Page 117:

    Dawson asks Kieltyka about the similarities between three- and four- wheeled ATVs. Interesting response!

    MS DAWSON We heard from an earlier panel about
    18 one death and another serious injury on a four-wheeler ATV
    19 In your experience, do you see any significant difference
    20 between the risks associated with the three and four wheeler"'
    21 MR KIELTYKA I see the four wheeler as being
    22 riskier, the reason being it looks more like an automobile
    23 and, therefore, there is less acknowledgment of risk with the
    24 vehicle People look at it and say, "Sit on it and go "
    25 That's not the case It turns, it handles, identical to a

    1 three wheeler
    2 MS DAWSON Identical?
    3 MR KIELTYKA In my opinion, yes
    4 MS DAWON We have heard some other comments that
    5 there is some difference in handling characteristics of the
    6 four wheeler, as opposed to the three wheeler In your
    7 experience, you feel they are very, very similar in the way
    8 that they
    9 MR KIELTYKA Very similar, yes Both have pros
    10 and cons, mostly based on the terrain you are going to be
    11 operating in On very hilly terrain, I would prefer a four
    12 wheeler On flat terrain or narrow trails, I prefer a three
    13 wheeler
    Page 125: Discussion of the technique for riding

    MR DeFIORE We have heard all morning about
    18 tipovers and rollovers and flipovers In your experience in
    19 training people, are there some common errors that people
    20 make that lead to that scenario'?
    21 MR KIELTYKA Can I pass that on to someone'?
    22 Vic, do you think you could handle a bike that started
    23 tipping over, after having taken training'?
    24 MR DeFIORE I can ask Vic later
    25 MR KIELTYKA Okay The answer is yes, a trained
    1 rider can recognize how to handle that As a vehicle turns,
    2 it wants to roll More weight to the inside compensates for
    3 that You can turn the vehicle by keeping all the wheels on
    4 the ground, and that's the proper way to turn it
    MR DeFIORE You have indicated several times
    6 earlier that there were a number of specific handling
    7 characteristics that had to be learned in terms of
    8 three-wheeled vehicle support, ATV as opposed to other
    9 vehicles Can you state what maybe two or three of the most
    10 important ones would be, in your mind, as an instructor'?
    11 MR KIELTYKA In particular, that they do not turn
    12 like any other vehicle They do not turn like an automobile,
    13 unless they have a differential If that's the case, yes
    14 You turn the handle or the steering mechanism, and they turn
    15 With a solid rear axle, they do not You need to lean into
    16 the turn to control the lift of that inside wheel, ideally
    17 keeping it on the ground, lightening it enough to scrub a
    18 little bit That is, in particular, the most important
    19 The body English necessary for riding this vehicle is
    20 the single most important thing that that rider needs to know
    21 Going up hills, you weight forward Going downhill, you
    22 weight back In a turn, you weight to one of the sides
    23 That's an important thing that needs to be brought out to
    24 people
    Page 130: Dr Huston (Professor, Engineer). Explains how three-wheelers can not only pitch (forward and backwards movement) or roll (side to side movement), but do both at the same time which induces a roll-over to happen much more quickly than it would otherwise in a four wheeled vehicle where the ability for both axis' to move is much less.

    Let's first look at overturning instability My
    13 opinion is, this is the type of instability or accident which
    14 causes the most injuries It's a pitch-roll type of injury,
    15 pitch-roll type of accident If you consider an axis from
    16 the front tire to one of the rear tires, I will call that a
    17 pitch-roll axis Normally, on four-wheel vehicles, you could
    18 either pitch, which is the front-to-back motion, or roll,
    19 which IS the side-to-side motion But on a three-wheel
    20 vehicle, you can both pitch and roll at the same time These
    21 vehicles can overturn much, much faster, much, much quicker
    22 than a regular four-wheel vehicle
    Page 133: Testimony from an attorney named Schultz begins. He mentions that he represents 3 different injured parties. One of which was a 15 year old girl that was killed in an incident from riding when the front wheel locked and sent it end over end. The second was a 12 year old girl that was riding double with another one that resulted in a loss of control and roll-over that resulted in numerous skull fractures and injuries that resulted in permanent hearing loss. The 3rd was a 15 year old boy that rolled his in a gravel cul-de-sac. He sustained non permanent arm injuries. The interesting thing that this attorney alleges is that the front axle design on all of these machines (Yamahas) is flawed in the fact that it allows debris to get into and lock the front wheel:

    We have not started suits yet, but I intend to do so
    23 shortly And I can share with the Commission that, with
    24 respect to the death of the 15-year-old girl, our research
    25 has indicated that there is a design defect with the
    1 all-terrain vehicle
    2 All of these, by the way, were Yamahas
    3 The defect in the front axle design was such that it
    4 allowed contaminants to enter into the front axle, and the
    5 front axle bearings seized, freezing, if you will, causing
    6 the vehicle to stop and flipping the rider off
    7 In the situation with the 15-year-old boy, once again,
    8 this injury was directly a result of a defect in the front
    9 axle design, where one bearing seized And I believe that is
    10 why that all-terrain vehicle rolled to the right rather than
    11 flipping, as in the first one
    12 With respect to the 12-year-old girl, we believe that
    13 this accident occurred because of the maneuvering/steering
    14 problems that have previously been mentioned To turn the
    15 vehicle, one has to lean out in the direction opposite of
    16 your turn You have to shift your weight Unfortunately,
    17 with an 80-pound girl, they do not have the power nor the
    18 control to adequately keep the vehicle under control and do
    19 what IS necessary to make the things maneuver correctly
    20 With this girl, there was no instructions or training or any
    21 of the other items that were mentioned by the previous
    22 witnesses
    Page 137: Testimony from Mr. Hanitz, registered engineer specializing in "Engineering Forensics" (AKA, expert witness testimony for lawsuits). He explains a bit more on the front axle lockup allegation:

    I'm a registered professional engineer
    20 in the state of Wisconsin, and a good portion of my business
    21 IS in forensic engineering And in this particular case,
    22 working with Mr Schultz and other law firms, and in a couple
    23 of other cases, we have formed a pretty steep opinion in a
    24 design defect, particularly in the Yamaha vehicle, where two
    25 particular situations occur The shafting in its axle design

    1 permits contaminants to enter into the bearing race And the
    2 bearings, not being permanently sealed, create a problem, and
    3 it locks up inside, causing the vehicle to overturn This is
    4 the area that we are working in presently
    5 We are also well aware of the instability that Dr
    6 Huston talks about, and we fully concur in that area And
    7 with that lack of stability, with this freezing of the race,
    8 It takes very little to flip the vehicle over
    9 That's about all I have at this time I would like to
    10 thank the Commission for their help and assistance up in
    11 Green Bay
    Page 138: Dr. Johnson, Pediatrican testifying.

    I would like to comment on previously unreported
    21 statistics from the emergency room at St Joseph's Hospital
    22 in Marshfield, Wisconsin In this one emergency room in
    23 Marshfield, from January 1, 1985 to August 1, 1985, a mere
    24 seven months, they have seen 30 patients injured on ATVs 14
    25 of these patients, almost 50 percent, have been under 16
    1 years of age 20 percent of these injured required
    2 hospitalization from one to 30 days, and one patient still
    3 remains in the hospital in a coma on a respirator Three of
    4 these accidents were on four-wheeled ATVs and the rest, or 90
    5 percent, were on three-wheeled ATVs 65 percent of these
    6 victims were not wearing helmets
    7 Reviewing information shows that the most serious
    8 injuries were in children too young to drive these motor
    9 vehicles Many instances involved children with other
    10 children as passengers, using these machines on private
    11 property where they are designed to run
    Page 141: Scanlon questions Schultz and the Hanitz. Particularly on Schultz about the riders and wearing helmets:

    MR SCANLON Thank you. Doctor, very much
    10 Mr Schultz, were the two girls and the boy that you
    11 described were they wearing helmets'?
    12 MR SCHULTZ None of the three were
    13 MR SCANLON None were wearing helmets
    14 MR SCHULTZ None were
    15 MR SCANLON Had any of the three received any
    16 kind of formalized training'?
    17 MR SCHULTZ No one, other than operating the
    18 machines after they were picked up and learning as they went
    19 on Self-taught, in essence
    20 MR SCANLON Both you and Mr Hanitz say that this
    21 particular manufacturer has a product defect Is this defect,
    22 in your opinion, applicable to the other three large
    23 manufacturers of ATVs'?
    24 MR HANITZ I haven't found it yet and have not
    25 been hired to do so
    1 MR SCANLON So you have only looked at one
    2 manufacturer, and you have come up with this opinion
    3 MR HANITZ That's correct
    Page 148: Dawson asking Dr. Huston about his familiarity with the machines:

    MS DAWSON In your role as a professor, associate
    4 professor of mechanics is that what it is"? Mechanics
    5 engineering"'
    6 DR HUSTON Yes
    7 MS DAVJSON Have you been experienced in using
    8 these vehicles"'
    9 DR HUSTON I have ridden some just in my
    10 investigation with the vehicles But I am not what I would
    11 call a recreational rider
    12 MS DAWSON Have you been in touch with any of
    13 those people that are recreational riders"' In other words,
    14 have you had any contact with the user groups and those that,
    15 for example, use them for competition"'
    16 DR HUSTON No, I have not. I have been involved
    17 with some litigation for plaintiffs
    Page 150: Dr. Johnson (The pediatrician) gets questioned about double riding:

    2 MR DeFIORE Does riding -- more than one person
    3 riding is believed to be inherently dangerous so what
    4 you're saying is no one should be a rider -- an operator
    5 should not be 12 years or younger
    6 DR JOHNSON Yes Unless it is designed for
    7 passengers
    8 MR SCANLON They are not designed for two
    9 passengers
    10 DR JOHNSON I haven't checked them all I'm
    11 sorry
    12 Mr SCANLON I don't know of any that's designed
    13 for more than one passenger Okay
    Beginning page 151 line 16 is a great testimony from the father (Jerry Bergman) of a rider/racer and how he explains that the majority of the injuries and fatalities are from people NOT using safety equipment, and from lack of supervision by parents. If you dont read anything else, read this part.

    Beginning page 154, line 11, some more good Testimony from a gentlemen named Larry Cook that heads up a snowmobile association about personal responsibility.

    Beginning page 157, Line 22 some additional favorable testimony from Bur Zeratsky

    Page 161, Line 17-22 Another speaker talks about his family, his experience, and his profession. He mentions that he is a teacher and is probably almost as stressfull of a job as being a member of the CPSC.

    17I am speaking on my own behalf, as an owner and rider
    18 of an ATV Also the father of five children, three boys and
    19 two girls, high school and college age My profession, I'm a
    20 teacher Riding an ATV has been a positive benefit to me I
    21 know teaching is a job with a certain amount of stress,
    22 probably almost as much stress as being a member of the CPSC
    Page 161, Line 23 Chariman Scanlon interrupts him with "I doubt it" (Wow, what an elitist thing to say?!-Billy)

    23 MR SCANLON I doubt it
    Page 175 Line 21 and 22, interesting tidbit about a possibly factory ATC500R?!?

    Page 180,Line 25 The question comes up again by Dr. DeFiore about seat sizes encouraging double riding. Its answered by Michael Bergman on Line 4 of Page 181

    4 MR MICHAEL BERGMAN I think that seat is perfect
    5 for when you have to move around to maneuver the bike It's
    6 the right size And it says all over the manual and on the
    7 rear of the machine it's not for two riders It is made for
    8 one rider to maneuver
    Page 185, line 2 begins the testimony of ATV Dealers and associations.

    Page 190, Line 6 testimony from Don Schommer of a snow-mobile association about how the Wisconsin DNR refused to make a safety course for ATVs.

    6 And I have been after the DNR for years from Wisconsin
    7 here to get a program going for these people to get this
    8 machine a safety course, just like we have for the
    9 snowmobilers I've got a lot of clubs that are against me
    10 for sticking up for the ATVs, but I use this machine, and
    11 it's a good machine And I have used all kinds Yamaha,
    12 Honda, and now we have Polaris coming out with it We had a
    13 Kawasaki last year We've got some excellent dealers in my
    14 area They let me use these machines We have owned our own
    15 But I have been on them for years, and I go to these
    16 safety meetings, I go to association meetings, and I preach
    17 and I preach And the DNR has done nothing with this thing,
    18 just washed their hands We ha've got a problem out there
    19 because they have no place to ride legally The DNR says
    20 they cannot ride on our snowmobile trails on a funded trail
    21 MR SCANLON DNR stands for Department of Natural
    22 Resources'?
    23 MR SCHOMMER Natural Resources And they have
    24 been bickering for years, and I don't know when it's going to
    25 end But we could solve this whole problem if we just had a

    Page 191

    1 safety program set up, just like snowmobiles Register them
    2 just like a sled
    Beginning Page 193 line 11, a guy named Bill Whidt from the Motorsport Advancement Crusade, sounds like he actually has it figured out what the CPSC is wanting and how tough its going to be to keep it from happening:

    11 Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Bill Wildt I'm
    12 president of an organization called the Motorsport
    13 Advancement Crusade This organization was founded to
    14 preserve and enhance motor sports through public education
    15 As such, we are vitally concerned about the possible loss of
    16 an entire type of vehicle from motor sport
    17 The hypothetical proposal that the Government has
    18 presented publicly through its agent, the CPSC, to ban and
    19 recall the popular three-wheel devices commonly known as ATVs
    20 IS an ominous indication of just how much work our
    21 organization has to do.
    This guy is GREAT, starting page 198, line 11:

    11 No one can predict what personal transportation will
    12 , look like 20 years from now We do know the first automobile
    13 invented by Karl Benz in 1885 had three wheels, and it's
    14 probably a good thing that no one immediately banned
    15 four-wheel vehicles
    16 The vehicle of the future could very well be a three
    17 wheeler, based on some youngster's experience with the
    18 advantages of an ATV when he was young The same could be
    19 said of six-wheelers or two-wheelers, for that matter The
    20 fact IS, we just don't know V^at we do know is that
    21 political manipulation in this area for example, the
    22 banning of a particular concept will very likely have long-
    23 term evolutionary effects One can't artificially tamper
    24 with technical inquiry without affecting the future, no more
    25 than one can ban specific types of books without affecting

    Page 199

    1 the future
    Page 200 Line 10: More from Bill Whidt

    10 Finally, as a private citizen, I challenge the idea of
    11 the Government entering the sport vehicle marketplace and
    12 outlawing one of the competitors in this field because people
    13 might hurt themselves This is not, in my mind, a legitimate
    14 function of government, and if successful, one can only
    15 wonder what's next Motorcycles, to be sure Ultralight
    16 aircraft, probably Powerboats, yeah And, oh, yes, of
    17 course, handguns This notion of government control of types
    18 of products in the marketplace ought to be repugnant to
    19 Americans that value their freedoms so highly
    His testimony ends on page 201 line 24. And Chairman Scanlon tears into him:

    23 MR SCANLON Mr Wildt, let me just make one
    24 correction on your statement
    25 MR WILDT I said it wrong, or I wrote it wrong'?


    1 MR SCANLON You said it and you wrote it The
    2 Consumer Product Safety Commission is a five-member regional
    3 body Presently we have one vacancy So there are four of
    4 us on the Commission, one coming down very soon Only one of
    5 five commissioners has ever used the term "ban" or "recall "
    6 So you must keep that in mind
    7 MR WILDT If I may
    8 MR SCANLON So you're not talking about this
    9 generic government You're talking about one individual
    10 MR WILDT If I may. Commissioner, I don't want to
    11 retreat from that position The fact of the matter is, the
    12 public views you folks, even one of you, as the Government
    13 I promise you that's how it is perceived And because that's
    14 the way it is perceived, that's the way we have to deal with
    15 It That's where our fight lies
    And that concludes Part 1 of this overview...part 2, to finish up this 360 page document is coming soon!
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. NINJA's Avatar
      NINJA -
      Wow that Bill Wildt was a prophet! This especially hits home for me, as I was growing up in and riding trikes in Wisconsin at that time. I distinctly recall my father going off about the "bureaucratic idiots" when my brother couldn't race a trike anymore at the local track.
    1. hang&rattle's Avatar
      hang&rattle -
      And his prediction on banning handguns? Too cool. The bill of rights does not say the right to rod a trike, but, the right to bear arms? How does the fed. govt. break the law and send innocent men given a god-given and fore-father given right, to prison for having a hand gun (Plexico Buress)? The trike ban was nothin' but a political move for power. This is now becoming fact, 24 years later. More are killed by war (govt. oil and power greed), in hate, than having fun recreationally every year. So ban the congress. We'll be safe and happy!
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