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Industry Won't Resist NJ Bill Language

Published June 15, 2009

TRENTON, NJ (BRAIN)—A bill in New Jersey seeking to regulate the sale of bikes equipped with quick releases came out of committee with language the industry has agreed not to resist.

On June 4, the bill (A1251) came up for a hearing by the assembly consumer affairs committee, which revised the bill to make it unlawful to sell a bicycle with a front wheel diameter of 20 inches or less equipped with a quick release wheel unless the bicycle is a specialty adult bicycle.

The purpose of the sales restriction is to prevent the use of quick releases on bicycles ridden by children, the committee said in a statement.

They submitted the language that we agreed not to resist,” said Pat Cunnane, president of Advanced Sports Inc., who attended the committee hearing on behalf of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, which has been keeping track of the bill. “Our industry’s position is we won’t fight this, but we won’t support it, either.”

Also at the hearing was lobbyist Josh Hodes, who was hired by the BPSA in the summer of 2007 after a former version of the bill that banned quick releases on adult bikes passed by a landslide vote in the assembly.

Since then, the bill has gone through multiple language revisions. One version required that quick release devices have primary and secondary retention, and that the retention meet certain specifications—clearly favoring a specific product.

Cunnane said the bill’s sponsors, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty and Assemblywoman Joan Voss, have agreed on the new language, but that the bill can still be amended before coming for a full vote in the general assembly. And it must be voted on and passed there, after which a similar bill must be introduced in the state senate and passed before making its way to the governor.

As of yet, the bill hasn’t been introduced in the senate for the current legislative session, Cunnane said.

“We’re watching it closely,” Cunnane said. “We’re working with our lobbyist to keep an eye on things. Now we’re dialed into many senate and assembly members in New Jersey who are understanding of our point of view—that this legislation isn’t needed because our industry is regulated by the CPSC.”

—Lynette Carpiet

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