Imagine waking up early one Saturday morning all excited. It is a typical Saturday with great weather, perfect temperatures-the day you've been dreaming of all week, the day you often hit the trails or MX track on your ATV or side-by-side. As usual you can't think of a better way to spend your day after a long hard week on the job than being on the trails. The annoying reverberations of your alarm clock pulsates throughout the entire house pulling you out of a comforting deep sleep, but you don't mind it for the first time in six days. You hop out of bed happy to load up and hit the road, but as you head out to the garage a sad reality begins to steal your joy. You suddenly realize that you had only been dreaming about the way life used to be. It doesn't take long for you to be reminded that not long ago off-road vehicles had been made permanently illegal to operate anywhere in the United States of America.
Sounds like a bit of an extreme nightmare scenario, doesn't it? Sure, and you might also be thinking that this author is a few brain cells shy of sane as well. But the truth is that this is a likely scenario, if we continue to sit around focusing on such distractions as "American Idol" and continuously give over our attention to the Xbox while environmental activists and the current administration quietly and relentlessly attack our sport; it could be vanished before we ever see it coming. Maybe you could care less about politics or even becoming the next revolutionary, but unless we all band together, this sport in which we all hold in such high regard will continue to disappear. You (yes, you, the person reading these words) need to understand what you are up against and learn what it is you can do to stop the destruction of this perfectly legitimate sport before it's too late.
AMA's Top Off-Road Threats
• Excessive Sound: Loud exhaust systems cause harm to the sport and create an unneeded stereotype about off-road enthusiasts.
• Health Insurance Discrimination: Legislation that creates a loophole for insurance companies to deny health care to off-road enthusiasts.
• Mandated ABS: Laws that require Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) on off-road vehicles increasing expense and even danger in certain terrains.
• Mandated Rider Education: Requirements for all off-road enthusiasts to take education classes, which already exist for free through the ATV Safety Institute.
• Defining OHV Vehicle: Federal regulators may create unrealistic and burdensome regulations in their effort to control the design and performance of new vehicles.
• Alcohol Content In Fuels: Efforts to increase the ethyl alcohol in fuels pose a risk of serious damage to engines not designed for this fuel source.
• Access To Public Lands: Millions of acres of public land have been and are being designated as federal Wilderness and Wilderness study areas and will be restricted or banned for OHV use.
• CPSIA Youth Lead Ban: Calls for bans on making, importing, distributing or selling products intended for use by those 12 and under that have trace amounts of lead in them, including youth motorcycles and ATVs.
What We Are Up Against
Before you can take action you've got to understand exactly what it is we are up against. First off, don't think this attack is just on ATVs and side-by-sides. It's a much broader issue than that. It's an attack on recreation and the freedoms Americans have enjoyed our entire lives and throughout generations. The problem is rooted deep in the current political climate and through legislation that is being shaped and molded into laws that will change, regulate and even outlaw many if not most of the things we love and enjoy. Yes, this includes fishing, camping, hunting, the ability to own and possess firearms, all off-road vehicles and even classic cars and on-road motorcycles just to name a few. In fact, much if not most of this is being done in the name of saving the planet.