The ACCC has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to improve the safety of quad bikes by introducing a new safety standard.
The decision was announced by Assistant Treasurer the Hon Michael Sukkar today.
The safety standard has three elements: improved information for potential purchasers, enhanced quad bike stability, and rollover protection to reduce injuries and deaths.
The standard requires that within 12 months, all new quad bikes will need to have information affixed to them about the degree of slope at which they will start to overturn.
Within 24 months, all new general use quad bikes will need to conform with minimum standards for stability on slopes. The standard will also require that all new general use quad bikes sold in Australia will have to have an operator protection device or rollover bar, to reduce the risk of serious crush injuries and deaths in the event of a rollover.
“We know that around 60 per cent of quad bike fatalities are caused by rollovers, and the operator dies from asphyxia in around half of these,” Mr Keogh said.
“Research indicates that roughly 50 per cent of these operators would have survived the crash had they not been crushed or pinned by the quad bike.”
“These changes are an important step in improving the safety of quad bikes, and we look forward to working with farmers, manufacturers and retailers, to implement the standard,” Mr Keogh said.
The ACCC also strongly urges state and territory governments to continue to support complementary safety measures, such as the use of helmets and protective clothing, prohibiting children from riding adult-sized quad bikes, and a continuation of rebate schemes to encourage the fitting of rollover protection devices to quad bikes currently in use.
More information about the quad bike safety standard is available from the Product Safety Australia website.
In response to continuing deaths and injuries associated with their use, the ACCC was asked in 2017 by state and federal ministers to conduct an inquiry into quad bike safety.
The ACCC Quad Bike Taskforce conducted a comprehensive, two-year safety investigation and in April this year, it released a draft mandatory standard for consultation with industry. After considering responses, the ACCC provided a report recommending the adoption of a mandatory safety standard for all new quad bikes sold in Australia.