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  1. Earlier this year, a law was passed that made it illegal to sell small motorcycles and ATVs in America that were intended primarily for children under the age of 12. The issue was lead content, as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) issued a law banning the sale of any product that contains more than 600 ppm of lead in "substrate material." After a great deal of protracted negotiations, the CPSC and officials representing motorcycle manufacturers and dealers have come to an agreement of sorts that will remove the federal ban on children's motor vehicles. Policymakers have proposed a "stay of enforcement," meaning that it's likely a temporary arrangement, and state attorneys general aren't bound to abide by the proposal. The Motorcycle Industry Council seems pleased that action has taken place, but is calling for Congress to end the ban entirely.
  2. You've got to respect the capabilities of the orange and black machines currently rolling out of KTM's Austrian headquarters, but after watching some promotional footage of its latest bikes in action, we can only surmise that the European cycle manufacturer isn't quite familiar with the lawyer-bred nature of things here in the United States. After the break, you'll find a set of seriously awesome videos highlighting the kind of hooligan antics made possible by Supermoto-style machinery like the KTM 690SM and 950SM. You'll also witness the sheer performance and acceleration available to riders of any literbike, including KTM's new RC8. These guys are hardcore, reminding us that it's not always the destination, but rather how you get there. This footage really speaks for itself, so we can only add a reminder to ride safe out there and to keep the really dangerous antics relegated to a proper track.
  3. Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech revealed last month his desire to expand the carmaker!
  4. Called the VJM02 ?C the second new car since Indian businessman Vijay Mallya bought and rechristened the team Force India ?C the new challenger ditches the red and gold livery from last year in favor of the orange, white and green of the Indian national flag. As we reported previously, Force India terminated its engine supply deal with Ferrari in favor of a new deal with Mercedes-Benz, incorporating the engine, gearbox, regenerative braking system and hydraulics, implemented on the new car, which will be driven by veteran pilots Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil. more...
  5. Teenage drivers are dangerous, that's no revelation. AAA has analyzed the last decade of crash data by its AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and found that while deadly crashes are down overall, teenage drivers are still at least twice as lethal to other people as they are to themselves. While measures such as graduated licensing and improved driver training have brought down fatalities, more could still be done. Passengers in cars driven by teens continue to fare the worst, while other drivers, pedestrians and other non-motorists are also victims. The statistics certainly make parents contemplate carting around their progeny indefinitely, as AAA says that 49 states could beef up their graduated licensing programs. Add to the discussion the dismal state of driver training and the level of distraction many drivers (not just teens) inflict upon themselves while piloting 3,000-pound projectiles, and you might also start seriously considering telecommuting. Majority of People Killed in Teen Crashes are Passengers and Other Drivers - Not Teen Drivers
  6. We've all done dumb things in the car before. Eating, talking on the phone, looking at a map, or even reaching for a dropped CD while driving a car will increase your chances of getting into an accident. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute teamed up with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety to study driver behaviors and determine what we're doing behind the wheel. To capture driver behavior, 240 drivers in and around the Washington DC area drove 100 specially equipped vehicles that contained five cameras that captured the driver's every move. You'd think with big brother you would be a little more aware of what was going on around you. Amazingly, the cameras captured 82 accidents and 761 near-crashes. At the conclusion of the test, AAA narrowed down the biggest risks as driving while drowsy, speeding, aggressive driving, and taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds. Speeding and driving drowsy TRIPLED the chances of a resulting accident, and distracted driving and aggressive driving doubled the chance of a crash. AAA's message is clear: if you're late for a meeting, tired, and your tie needs adjusting, catch a cab. You're an accident waiting to happen.