May 20, 2015

Manchin-Heller Ride Act Passes Committee

Washington, D.C. - Today, the ROV in-Depth Examination (RIDE) Act (S.1040), bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), was approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee earlier today. S.1040 puts the brakes on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC’s) flawed proposed mandatory standards for lateral stability and vehicle handling that could have unintended safety consequences and limit these vehicles’ ability to access difficult terrain.

“The recreational off-road vehicle industry has demonstrated its commitment to safety by updating voluntary standards as recently as last year. It is a shame that we have to introduce legislation to require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to actually review those standards, but I am pleased this bipartisan legislation has passed out of the Commerce Committee. In West Virginia alone, this industry contributes $1.2 billion to the economy each year and is a major engine for economic growth. This legislation brings a bit more common sense to Washington,” said Senator Joe Manchin.

“Off-road vehicles play a major role in enabling many Nevadans to enjoy the outdoors and the Silver State’s way of life. It is critical to the safety of Nevadans that these standards actually reduce the risk of injury, not increase it. I’m proud to see this bipartisan legislation, which ensures the regulation is implemented correctly, moved through committee on such a positive note,” said Senator Dean Heller


Ongoing rulemaking by the CPSC would impose mandatory standards on ROV manufacturers regarding lateral stability, steering characteristics, and other related-matters. HERE is the letter from October of 2014 in which a bipartisan group of Senators, including Senators Heller and Manchin, urged the CPSC to work collaboratively with industry on comprehensive and effective voluntary safety standards. 

The RIDE ACT would postpone the CPSC’s ROV rulemaking until the proposed mandatory design standards have been examined by an independent agency, such as the National Academy of Sciences. This study will help ensure that any future standards are conducive to navigating rugged terrain and do not unnecessarily compromise performance and safety.

Outdoor recreation plays a major role in the Nevada and West Virginia economies. According to a recent study, off-road activity alone has an annual impact of $2 billion in Nevada and $1.2 billion in West Virginia.