In 1985, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America began development of a standard which established the requirements for equipment, configuration, and performance of four wheel ATVs in the United States. In 1990, the American National Standards Institute approved the first standard for four wheel ATVs. In 2001, the standard was revised to modify certain definitional language and add several provisions to enhance and clarify the standard.
In 2007, the standard was updated to include definitions for Type I and Type II ATVs; new Y-10+ and T category ATVs; requirements of Type II ATV passenger handholds and footrests; new requirements for labels, owner’s manuals, hang tags; and a compliance certification label. On July 23, 2007, ANSI approved the American National Standard for Four Wheel All-Terrain Vehicles (ANSI/SVIA 1 – 2007).
This standard reflects the effort to improve the matching of the ATVs available to the physical size, capabilities, and expectations of younger riders. The new youth models categories and the Transition model category are based in part on two types of investigations: (1) analysis of norms for speeds of products as they related to child age or development and (2) analysis of various aspects of child development.
The review of product information included over 130 motorized wheeled ride-on products, including 2-, 3-, and 4-wheel gas and electric products.
The examination of the child development literature included Abilities and Skills, Learning Skills, Development of Abilities and Skills as a Function of Age, Anthropometry, Individual Performance Indices, and Temperament.
It is widely recognized that there is no specific age, set of characteristics, or formula to definitively determine one's readiness to use all sorts of products or participate in any number of activities, including ATV operation. Thus, we recognize that, in any system of ATV classification based on age, there will not be a single factor that leads to bright lines of demarcation. Thus, we sought to consider the issue of age and speed classification from a variety of perspectives and to find converging evidence for desirable characteristics of the system.
Starting with the goal of reducing the frequency of children under 16 operating adult size ATVs and then considering ways of promoting use of age appropriate ATVs, the revised categories are well suited to accommodating various aspects of child development, promoting purchase of age appropriate models and generally promoting the goodness of fit between child operators and ATVs.
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The standard provides specifications for a transition model ATV, referred to as Category T, which is a recreational ATV of appropriate size for a rider age 14 or older (still under direct adult supervision) or by a rider 16 and older. These changes allow ATV manufacturers to develop vehicles that are appropriate performance and size for 14- and 15-year old riders, as well as small adults.
The youth model ATV categories include performance criteria that are more appropriate for the young riders. Research data show the new youth and transition model categories are more likely to appeal to younger riders and their families rather than larger, adult ATVs.
Under the standard an all-terrain vehicle is defined as a motorized off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control. ATVs are subdivided into two types as designated by the manufacturer. Type I ATVs are intended for use by a single operator and no passenger. Type II ATVs are intended for use by an operator or an operator and a passenger, and are equipped with a designated seating position behind the operator designed to be straddled by no more than one passenger.
SVIA received requests to interpret sections of new content in the ANSI/SVIA 1 – 2007 approved standard relating to tire marking and labels. The ANSI/SVIA 1-2010 revision includes clarifying language based upon those requests for interpretation.
ANSI/SVIA 1 - 2010 was a collective effort to ensure the continued safety of ATV riders across the country. SVIA worked with industry and other interested parties to enhance the vehicle standard that addresses the design and performance of ATVs manufactured and distributed in the U.S.
On August 14, 2008 President Bush signed The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 into law. As part of this law CPSC was required to publish the voluntary ANSI/SVIA 1-2007 as a mandatory standard. In 2011 CPSC updated the regulation consistent with the ANSI/SVIA 1-2010 standard.
It is now unlawful for any manufacturer or distributor to import into or distribute in commerce in the United States any new assembled or unassembled ATV unless the ATV:
- Complies with the standard;
- Is subject to an ATV action plan filed with CPSC before the date of enactment of the Act, or subsequently filed with and approved by CPSC, and bears a label certifying such compliance and identifying the manufacturer, importer or private labeler and the ATV action plan to which it is subject.