National Journal: The Great American Dirt Bike: Toy or Tool?

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester’s father used a horse to get around his 1,100-acre Montana farm. When Jon got older, he sold the horse and bought a motorcycle.

Now, Montana’s junior senator is trying to help keep the young citizens of Montana riding. At the start of this Congress, Tester reintroduced legislation dubbed “the dirt bike bill” that makes it possible for retailers to sell motorized vehicles (dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles) properly sized for children as young as six.

Why can’t 6 year olds ride dirt bikes you may ask?

If you thought it had something to do with the inherent danger of zipping around on what is essentially a small Harley Davidson, you’d be wrong. Instead, it has to do with lead. In 2008, the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Act made it illegal for children’s toys to contain more than a specified amount of lead.

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