SEMA Urges Federal Agency to Support Industry Standard for Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

SEMA urged the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to set aside efforts to establish a mandatory safety standard for recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs) in favor of an industry standard developed in consultation with the CPSC over the past five years. The CPSC held a public meeting January 7 to discuss the issue. SEMA joined with the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) and a number of other organizations and companies in voicing concerns that the proposed CPSC rule would have the unintended effect of imposing design restrictions and stifling future safety innovations.

The industry standard was produced by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ROHVA. SEMA questioned whether the CPSC had sufficient basis for abandoning the current industry standard since the law directs the Agency to pursue a voluntary consumer product safety standard whenever possible. The CPSC acknowledges that it lacks sufficient data to estimate whether there would be reduced injury rates from its mandatory approach. SEMA noted that it is much easier to update an industry standard with government collaboration to reflect technological changes since a government safety standard requires a lengthy rulemaking process.

ROVs are a popular form or recreational transportation on backcountry roads and trails. They can attain speeds greater than 30 miles-per-hour and are configured differently than all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). ROVs generally accommodate a side-by-side driver/passenger in a compartment equipped with roll bars. They include automotive-type controls for steering, throttle and braking.

View a copy of SEMA’s comments

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at