THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced a safety investigation into quad bikes to determine the need for a national safety standard to be set for the machines.
“Tragically, 114 people have been killed in Australia in quad bike accidents since 2011. The ACCC is investigating a range of possible options to improve quad bike safety and prevent further deaths and injuries in the community,” ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said.
“A key question is whether a safety standard should be introduced for quad bikes under the Australian Consumer Law.”
More than half (55 per cent) of all deaths associated with quad bikes were the result of a rollover and 30pc were from collision. About 90pc of rollover deaths occur on farms.
A safety standard for quad bikes could:
- require quad bikes to be tested in accordance with a national quad bike safety rating system
- prohibit unsafe design features or mandate requirements for design and construction, and/or
- prescribe the form and content of any warnings or instructions that need to accompany quad bikes at the point of sale, including the safety rating achieved by the quad bike.
The ACCC will be making a Draft Recommendation to the federal government early next year, with a Final Recommendation to be made mid-2018.
The ACCC Quad Bike Safety Taskforce is seeking feedback from stakeholders including manufacturers, dealers, workplace safety experts, researchers, farmers and quad bike users on a range of issues and options, such as:
- mandating specific design requirements and construction of quad bikes, including features that reduce the risk for children riding quad bikes designed for adults
- introducing a safety rating system and the testing of quad bike models before they are sold in Australia
- mandating safety warning information consumers would receive when buying a new quad bike.
“The ACCC recognises that quad bikes are important vehicles for many Australians who rely on them for work on farms, or use them recreationally, which is why it is important for stakeholders to have their say,” Mr Keogh said.
Quad bikes riders and industry can make a submission to the ACCC’s quad bike safety investigation, with proposed reforms outlined in an Issues Paper released today.
The Issues Paper and information on the consultation process is on the ACCC website.
In October the Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash and Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack announced the establishment of the ACCC Quadbike Safety Taskforce.
There are approximately 380,000 quad bikes in operation in Australia used for in workplaces, recreation, adventure tours and competitive racing.
About 20,000 quad bikes are sold each year in Australia and they are one of the leading causes of death and injury on Australian farms.