Push to save lives with quad bike controls

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The changes include the introduction of a safety rating system.
Camera IconThe changes include the introduction of a safety rating system. Credit: Countryman

A quad bike safety task force will take a raft of recommendations to the Federal Government in coming months, pleading for new laws the group says will save farmers’ lives.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is pushing ahead with plans to ask the Federal Government to regulate to improve quad bike safety.

This includes the introduction of a safety rating system, crush protection devices and mandatory minimum performance standards for all quad bikes sold in Australia.

It would also require the adoption of the US standard with an additional rollover warning label, and the introduction of a safety star-rating system so safer vehicles get a higher rating.

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Quad bike safety was thrust into the spotlight after a 17-year-old youth was tragically killed while riding at a property in Tenterden last Monday.

At least 10 people have died while using quad bikes this year, with more than 80 per cent of those deaths believed to have occurred on farms.

An ACCC spokesman said a task force was holding “a detailed safety investigation” and would make a recommendation to the Government in coming months.

“The ACCC is saddened to hear about the recent tragic death of a 17-year-old boy in a quad bike accident, and our thoughts are with his family and friends,” he said.

“Currently, there is no regulation or standards for quad bike design, and limited information is provided about the relative safety of each of the different models available.”

Quad bikes, also known as all-terrain vehicles, are the leading cause of death and injury on Australian farms.

On average, 16 people are killed while riding a quad bike each year.

Safe Farms WA executive officer Maree Gooch urged farmers to use quad bikes safely. “The fatal accident of the young man is very sad and devastating for the family,” she said.

“Tragically, quad bikes are the leading cause of deaths and accidents on farms in Australia.

“Ensure that quad bikes are used by experienced operators and that you use the most appropriate and safest vehicle for the job.

“According to WorkSafe, helmets must be worn on quad bikes in a work situation.”

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