The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) is calling on enthusiasts and industry representatives to submit comments by March 15, 2010 in response to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) proposed mandatory standards for Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs), also known as side-by-sides and UTVs.

ROHVA previously expressed disappointment with CPSC’s October 2009 vote to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) for mandatory ROV standards. ROHVA believes this action is premature because an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process to develop standards for ROVs had long been underway. Since that time, the process has been completed and the proposed ANSI standard is under final review. Components of the standard include protective gear requirements, a certified roll-over protective structure, a minimum of three point seatbelts for each seating position, and multiple lateral stability criteria.

ROHVA has created a web page – ROHVA.org/anpr – for enthusiasts and industry representatives that contains explanations of ROHVA’s position on ROV standards and links to important documents. The page also contains a link and other resources to facilitate stakeholders’ submission of comments on the CPSC’s ANPR.

 “ROV stakeholders need to be heard on whether the appropriate next step to establish ROV standards is moving forward with CPSC-imposed mandatory federal standards or instead gaining experience under the ANSI standards and promoting the ROV Safety Rules available at ROHVA.org,” says Paul Vitrano, ROHVA executive vice president.

The ANSI standard development process involves a variety of interests including CPSC and other government representatives, industry, consumers and others. Participants reach a consensus on an appropriate ANSI standard for ROV equipment, configuration and performance requirements.

ROHVA has met several times with CPSC staff in an effort to address their concerns about the ANSI standard.

“ROHVA appreciates the Commissioners’ and CPSC staff’s interest in and willingness to discuss key technical issues, and our dialogue has been productive,” says Vitrano. “While there is agreement between CPSC and ROHVA on many aspects of ROV standards, there continues to be disagreement over some important technical issues, including vehicle stability, vehicle handling and occupant protection and retention”

Vitrano concluded, “It also should be noted that the overwhelming majority of ROV operators and passengers use the vehicles safely and responsibly and benefit from the unique recreational and utility capabilities of these vehicles.”

For more information on the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, visit ROHVA.org.

Related ReadingManufacturers form safety group for side-by-sides

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