The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and AMA Grassroots Coordinator Jessica Irving have earned a prestigious Grassroots Innovation Award for their inventive campaign to involve the public in overturning a federal ban on the sale of kids' dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
The Public Affairs Council -- a nonpartisan, nonpolitical association for public affairs professionals -- presented the award to Irving in the "social media" category at its National Grassroots Conference held in Miami Beach, Fla., Jan. 30-Feb. 2.
The award was presented for the AMA Kids Just Want to Ride! grassroots campaign -- a national educational and recruitment movement that encouraged people nationwide to get involved in efforts to overturn the ban. Critical components of the campaign included the use of Facebook and YouTube videos.
The AMA Kids Just Want to Ride! campaign was instrumental in bringing hundreds of young motorcyclists, their parents and concerned riders from 20 states to Washington, D.C., on May 26 for the AMA Family Capitol Hill Climb to lobby their U.S. representatives. The event was a strong demonstration of public opposition to the ban on the sale of kid-sized motorcycles and ATVs.
"We're honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award from the well-respected Public Affairs Council," said Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO. "We put an awful lot of effort into the Kids Just Want to Ride! campaign, but the true heroes are all the AMA members, individuals and organizations who came together as a community for the good of the children.
"We're extremely pleased that we were able to provide some of the critical tools needed to exempt kids' dirtbikes and ATVs from the law," Dingman said. "We certainly learned that, as a united community, we are unstoppable."
On Aug. 12, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 2715
to exempt kids' off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, known as the lead law.
The CPSIA, which went into effect on Feb. 10, 2009, banned the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under, including kids' dirtbikes and ATVs, that contained more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part.
The president's signature ended nearly three years of intensive efforts by the AMA and its partner organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), their members and millions of advocates of responsible OHV recreation to change the law.