You might be wondering what we mean by side x sides going the way of the ATC and it’s fairly simple. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has proposed some mandates that would negatively affect handling and performance capabilities of Side-by-Side vehicles. While ATCs might have been dangerous in the wrong hands, it was typically associated with operator error which is something the U.S. CPSC has not taken into consideration.
The gist of it is the proposed mandates would make Recreational Off-road Vehicles lose most of their off-road performance due to a ground clearance restriction as well as an on road type steering system that makes you take corners like an ocean liner rather than a nimble off-roader. The proposal would also force manufacturers to make entry and exit of the ROV’s much more difficult since they would no longer trust occupants to close their own door.
This is a slippery slope and not the kind off-roaders like to go wheeling on but rather one that could potentially affect anything considered an off-road vehicle if interpreted in the wrong way by other lawmakers. If you own a Side-by-Side off-road vehicle or are in the market for one, this proposal could affect you and your family in a negative way.
Polaris Industries Inc., the leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles, has asked off-road enthusiasts to stand up and let their voices be heard regarding the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) proposed mandates for off-road, side-by-side vehicles (ROVs).
Despite willingness by Polaris and other manufacturers, along with the Recreation Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA), to work in unison with the CPSC to develop ongoing safety improvements for all off-highway vehicles, the CPSC appears determined to mandate handling and performance capabilities, and require excessive and potentially unsafe restraint systems for future ROVs. If not halted, the mandate will unnecessarily limit design freedom in the off-road industry and negatively impact off-road customers.
The proposed CPSC “rule” would require Polaris and other manufacturers to make arbitrary design changes to all future side-by-side vehicles. The proposed changes could lead to future off-road vehicles with reduced steering response, reduction in ground clearance, and more restrictive driver and passenger restraint and seatbelt systems.
“As an off-road community, we have a tremendous challenge in front of us,” said Paul Vitrano, VP, global government relations for Polaris. “As a unified community, we can protect our right to design, build and ride for today and the future.”
Polaris is asking off-road enthusiasts to reach out to Congress, and voice their opposition. More information about the proposed mandate and how to speak out can be found at www.StopTheROVMandate.com.
Also be sure to voice your opinion on the CPSC Contact Form at www.cpsc.gov/About-CPSC/Contact-Information/Contact-Specific-Offices-and-Public-Information/Information-Center/