FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Senate Passes Bill Allowing 6-Year-Old Children to Drive ATVs
RALEIGH—Under a bill passed by the Senate last week, first-graders would be able to drive a “four-wheeler,” or all-terrain vehicle (ATV), in a rollback of highly successful safety measures that have cut child deaths related to ATVs by 59% since 2005.
One of the key protections implemented in 2005 was a prohibition against children under age 8 from operating ATVs. This was a compromise with the ATV industry, since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than 16 should not operate an ATV.
The bill in question, House Bill 765—the Regulatory Reform Act of 2015 (see page 15, Section 3.13), previously passed the House, but without the provision on ATVs. If the House votes to concur with the Senate version of the bill, then it will be sent to the Governor’s desk for signature. If the House does not concur, the ATV provision could be removed during negotiations on a compromise version of the bill.
“There’s no reason to weaken safety regulations that have saved children’s lives, especially without an open debate about the merits of such a proposal.” said Rob Thompson, policy director at NC Child, a statewide child advocacy organization.
“To prevent unnecessary child injuries and fatalities, we call on the House to reject the current version of House Bill 765 and to remove the provisions that rollback child safety standards for ATVs,” said Thompson.