Machinery

Call for five-star safety rating system for quad bikes

Grain Central, March 31, 2017

THE National Farmers’ Federation and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia are calling for a five-star safety rating system for quad bikes following a spate of incidents this year.

Fiona Simson

NFF president, Fiona Simson, and RDAA president, Ewen McPhee, made the call to reduce the number of people injured in quad bike-related incidents.

The five-star safety rating is ideally applied voluntarily by manufacturers. This will help farmers and other consumers make an informed buying decision when purchasing a quad bike.

“Rollovers are the leading contributor to death and serious injury in quad bike incidents,” Ms Simson said.

“Unlike with two-wheel motorbikes, it is not speed, but the stability of the vehicle that is the major contributor to the quad bike rollovers.”

Dr McPhee said it was not just farmers who were at risk of quad bike injuries and deaths.

“In both 2015 and 2016 quad bikes accounted for the highest number of farm-related deaths overall. Since 2001, there have been 231 quad bike deaths across the country, with 43 of those fatalities being kids under the age of 16,” Dr McPhee said.

“As rural doctors, we see the devastation caused by the death or serious injury to the families and communities affected by on-farm incidents.

“Too many of these deaths are of children and as it stands not enough information is available to parents of the risks involved in operating a quad bike.”

Dr McPhee said no ‘child-appropriate’ quad bike was safe enough.

“Farmers are increasingly comparing quad bikes with SSVs (side-by-side vehicles),” she said.

“A proactive, positive approach to formalizing this comparison can only lead to better and more informed consumer choices as to which vehicle is most appropriate for their needs – from a safety and business perspective.

“It will also encourage manufacturers to develop safer, more stable quad bikes for the Australian market, with improved stability, dynamic handling, and rollover protection.”

Source: NFF

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