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Consumer watchdog proposes changes for quad bike safety

Major changes have been proposed to improve the safety of quad bikes.
Major changes have been proposed to improve the safety of quad bikes. iStock

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has proposed major changes to improve the safety of quad bikes, including the introduction of a safety rating system, crush protection devices and mandatory minimum performance standards.

Tragically, quad bike accidents result in an average of 16 deaths in Australia each year.

They also result in approximately six people a day attending a hospital emergency department and two of these requiring hospitalisation for serious injuries.

To help reduce the deaths and injuries associated with quad bikes, the ACCC is proposing a mandatory safety standard that:

- Adopts the US Standard and requires an additional rollover warning label.

- Introduces a safety star rating system so safer vehicles get a higher rating.

- Requires manufacturers to integrate an operator protection device, such as a crush protection device or rollover protection device in the design of new quad bikes.

- Imposes minimum performance tests for dynamic handling, stability and mechanical suspension and requires that all wheels be able to rotate at different speeds.

Surgeon weighs in on the issue of quad bike safety

"The ACCC believes a mandatory safety standard incorporating all of these elements is the best option to save lives and make quad bikes safer for everyone. We invite the public and stakeholders to have their say on this important safety proposal,” ACCC commissioner Mick Keogh said.

"The ACCC has considered a range of evidence and views in making this draft recommendation. We have consulted with industry representatives, quad bike manufacturers and retailers, farmers, consumers, academics, hospitals, health professionals, tourism operators, among many others.”

The ACCC has developed a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement, which details the proposed options to make quad bikes safer.

"I encourage stakeholders to consider the proposed options to improve the safety of quad bikes and make their submission by May 4, 2018, before we make a final recommendation to the Government mid-year,” Mr Keogh said.

If you currently own or ride a quad bike, the ACCC strongly recommends that you follow safety advice on Product Safety Australia.

Improving the safety of quad bikes is a product safety priority for the ACCC in 2018.

Topics:  accc quad bikes safety