The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is gathering information from the public regarding passengers on ATVs.
Specifically, the CPSC has issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the matter, seeing information on the prevalence of carrying passengers on ATVs and the feasibility of a performance requirement that would prevent passengers from being carried on ATVs.
“CPSC staff will use information gathered from this RFI to assist in developing recommended courses of action for Commission consideration regarding a performance requirement to prevent passenger use of ATVs,” the CPSC says in the RFI. “Interested parties may provide information on the prevalence of passenger use and the reasons why passengers ride on ATVs; potential means of preventing passengers from being carried on ATVs not intended for that purpose; and potential impacts of these requirements on the utility of ATVs. Interested parties also may provide information on possible changes to ATV design that may prevent passenger use, and information on whether these changes could be translated into a performance standard.”
The focus of the RFI seems to be on single-passenger ATVs being used to carry a passenger (though the use of two-up ATVs is also being looked at). While this already goes against warnings from manufacturers (and ATV.com!), the CPSC looks to be considering ways to prevent users from doing this at all. We’ve seen people riding on the backs of seats or even on the racks, so we’re not sure what device could be installed to keep passengers off of single-seat ATVs. However, modifications could conceivably be made that would limit the ability to add an aftermarket passenger seat. But what’s to stop an ATV owner from developing a workaround?
Here is the full list of questions the CPSC is asking in its RFI on ATVs with passengers:
A. Prevalence of passenger riding
• What, if any, data are available regarding the location of ATV passengers when riding? That is, where are passengers sitting or standing when riding ATVs? CPSC’s data are limited to information related to injury and fatality incidents but does not provide information regarding ATV use when an incident does not occur. • What, if any, data are available regarding the frequency and duration of passengers riding on ATVs that are not intended to carry more than one rider? Is the frequency and duration of passengers riding on ATVs associated with the type of ATV use, e.g., trail riding, versus utility use, versus hunting use? • What, if any, data are available regarding why ATV drivers carry passengers and the reasons passengers ride ATVs? • What, if any, data are available regarding user demand for two-rider ATVs, also called Tandem, 2-Up, or Type II ATVs? • Other than the data from CPSC sources, (e.g., reports and databases), what, if any, data are available regarding injury or risk of injury associated with passenger use of ATVs on single-rider versus tandem ATVs? This includes, but is not limited to, data about the mechanism of driver and passenger injuries, the disposition of drivers and passengers, interactions between the driver and passenger in incidents, weight of driver and passengers, helmet use of drivers and passengers, age/gender of the driver and passengers, and sequence of events in incidents with passengers.
B. Aftermarket seats
Aftermarket seats generally attach to cargo racks and are generally marketed as being intended for use when the ATV is not moving.
• What, if any, data are available regarding use of aftermarket seats by passengers when the ATV is moving? • What, if any, data are available regarding injury or risk of injury associated with the use of aftermarket seats?
• Can design modifications be made to ATVs to prevent passengers? • If design modifications are feasible, please describe possible design changes that could prevent passengers. How could such modifications affect the usability or utility of the ATV? Although CPSC cannot mandate a specific design, information regarding proof-of-concept designs can inform decision making regarding the feasibility of a performance requirement. • Would it be feasible to establish a performance standard that would prevent consumers from carrying passengers or installing aftermarket seats capable of carrying passengers without significantly adversely affecting the usability or utility of the ATV for purposes other than carrying passengers? • How would a performance requirement to prevent passenger use of ATVs affect two-rider ATVs, also called Tandem, 2-Up, or Type II ATVs? Should such a requirement apply to two-rider ATVs?