The Consumer Product Safety Commission is the only Federal Government agency with jurisdiction for safety risks related to ATV ' s . The CPSC has wide - ranging powers to obtain information , to educate the public , and to work with manufacturers to improve the safety of products used by consumers . The Commission has also been granted substantial compliance and enforcement powers over unsafe products in the Consumer Product Safety Act . This hearing is held to explore the ATV safety issue and the industry ' s and the Commission ' s reaction to it .

We will hear testimony today that because of engineering and design flaws the ATV is inherently unsafe for all except the most experienced rider and that they should be recalled or that the man ufacturers should change the design or cease production . On the other hand , some blame the rising tide of accidents on rider misuse and maintain that with proper training and education , accidents can be reduced .

The CPSC is attempting to ascertain whether ATV ' s present an " unreasonable " risk of injury and , if so , what to do about it . The CPSC has assigned ATV safety a high priority and has begun a plan of action . It is , among other things , working with the industry in the development of a voluntary standard . Today we want to ex plore whether all of this is sufficient to safeguard the public and , if not , what else should be done .

Mr . Craig , do you have an opening statement ? Mr . CRAIG . Thank you very much , Mr . Chairman .

The recent increase in deaths and injuries related to the popular three - wheeled , all - terrain vehicle - ATÝ , as we will come to know it today - is of great concern . Th

is of great concern . The statistics of nearly 100 , 000 inju ries and about 160 deaths over the past 3 years appears to be alarming . I share your desire to hold these hearings , so we can as certain the circumstances surrounding these statistics and to evalu ate how the Consumer Product Safety Commission is responding .

But , Mr . Chairman , I am just as concerned , if not more so , about the 1 , 242 deaths which occurred in 1983 relating to boating acci dents and the 500 , 000 people per year requiring hospital emergency treatment due to bicycle accidents , 300 , 000 of which were children under the age of 14 . One hundred and five children died in 1983 because of bicycles . And how about the estimated 300 deaths which occur per year because of horseback riding accidents ? And yet , I have not heard one word out of the Consumer Product Safety Com mission about these tragic deaths and injuries . I have not seen one press release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission ex pressing the proposed inherent dangers of these products , nor have I seen , heard , or read about any of these equally unfortunate deaths and the circumstances surrounding them in the media .

I am also unaware of any congressional hearings investigating these events which have deprived our fellow citizens of living a full life by this subcommittee or any other in Congress . Over 1 , 000 deaths associated with boating accidents in just 1 year compared to 160 deaths over 3 years with ATV ' s , or 53 a year on the average , and yet they seem to go unnoticed and unchallenged .

It seems , Mr . Chairman , that despite the best intentions of the Congress and the Federal regulators , we cannot produce a risk - free society in which only the hand of God decides who stays and who