American Motorcyclist Association earns Grassroots Innovation Award

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- 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.

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.