New ATV Injury Data Indicates “Public Health Crisis;” CU Calls on Congress to Protect Children

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2003
Contact: Sally Greenberg, 202.462.6262

New ATV Injury Data Indicates “Public Health Crisis;”
Consumers Union Calls on Congress to Protect Children
Injuries to kids under 16 from All Terrain Vehicles increases again

(Washington, D.C.) – Recent data released from the federal government shows a nearly 9 percent increase last year in injuries among children under age 16 due to All Terrain Vehicles, prompting new calls for regulation to protect children from ATV injuries.
“Self regulation within this industry has been a total failure,” said Sally Greenberg, senior product safety counsel for Consumers Union. “In the five years since the industry was unleashed from its obligations under the Consumer Product Safety Commision’s consent decree, the numbers of injuries and deaths has more than doubled. It’s time for Congress and the CPSC to take tough and decisive action to protect consumers, particularly children.”
The CPSC’s recent release of the latest data for All Terrain Vehicles (which can be found on the agency’s Website at www.cpsc.gov) shows a continuing upward trend of injuries and deaths associated with the use of these vehicles.
CPSC reported that 113,900 ATV injuries were serious enough to require emergency room treatment in 2002, surpassing even the previous year’s record of 110,100 injuries. The CPSC data indicate that children under 16 suffered 37,100 injuries in 2002, up from 34,300 in 2001, with this age group sustaining the greatest number of injuries compared to other ages. The CPSC data also show out that the increased number of injuries has substantially outpaced the increase in ATV sales.
Consumers Union has long supported regulation of ATVs to reduce the burgeoning risks to consumers. Specifically CU has:
 Supported the petition filed by the Consumer Federation of American calling for a ban on the sale or use of ATVs to children 16 years and younger;
 Urged Congress to hold hearings on ATV hazards and to provide incentives to states to pass laws relating to ATV use;
 Called on the states to adopt model legislation regulating the use of ATVs, such as that proposed by the American Academy of Pediatricians.