Background Since April 2009, the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act requires that new ATVs be subject to an action plan prescribing steps makers and sellers must take to ensure safety, such as rider training, distribution of safety information, and appropriate age recommendation.
Aims/Objectives/Purpose To determine the practice of dealers and salespersons with regards to promoting safe ATV use.
Methods A ‘secret buyer’ method was utilised to evaluate ATV seller practices.
Results/Outcomes 50 ATV dealerships from 4 states were studied. 35 subjects (70%) were willing to show and discuss selling an adult-sized ATV when told that the purchase was for a 12-year-old. Seven (14%) responded with comments that ATVs should have no extra riders when the investigator made statements about the adequacy of a seat being long enough for a child to give a sibling rides. Only one subject informed about the need for a 12-year-old to complete ATV safety training to drive in a public ATV park when prompted.
Significance/Contribution to the Field In this study, most ATV sellers did not follow requirements regarding age recommendation or provide other safety information. Those that did often voiced concerns about possible negative repercussions from violations. Dealership regulation compliance may increase with on-going enforcement. However, a ‘don't ask, don't tell’ relationship between seller and buyer was alluded to during the study in which sellers don't ask and buyers don't tell they are purchasing a larger machine for a child. This practice would limit the impact of regulation enforcement.
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