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Quad bike law change not enough to prevent deaths

Jul 7th 2021

Quad bike law change not enough to prevent deaths

Quad bike law change not enough to prevent deaths. 

The decision to not retrofit mandatory roll bars on thousands of quad bikes has proven fatal as Australians continue to lose their lives in tragic accidents at a rate of one every two weeks.  At least 164 people have died in quad bike accidents over the last decade.

As most of those accidents occurred on private properties, 24 of the people who died last year, ranging in age from 2 - 78, were not counted in the official road toll. This year alone, four people have been killed in quad bike accidents.

The Federal Government announced a raft of new safety regulations in October 2019, which included quad bikes sold in Australia had to have a sticker warning of the degree of slope before they overturn. Bikes had to be tested for stability and meet either European or US standards for brakes and suspension.

After the October 10 deadline, quad bikes can only be sold without roll bars by dealers if they were ordered before July 1 and delivered by December 31, leaving potentially tens of thousands of deathtraps still in use. Experts have also reignited calls for helmets to be mandatory and a ban on drivers under 16 years of age.

Chairman of Farmsafe Charles Armstrong said that despite several states offering rebates to fit crash protection devices (roll bars), only a small proportion of the estimated 250,000 - 300,000 quad bikes in use have them fitted.

'We have not had one fatality in 20 years on a bike with a [roll bar] on it. Not one. These bars keep the weight off the person and allow them to crawl out – and survive,' he said.

Someone who regularly sees the damage quad bikes can do is Paediatric Surgeon Dr Warwick Teague, from The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. He said he hoped to see helmets made mandatory and a ban on drivers under 16.

'We would not let some cars on the road with seat belts and not others. That's why it is so important we continue this conversation around safety – it shouldn't end just with these changes.' Dr Teague said.

To encourage the installation of roll bars state governments in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania have offered quad bike owner rebates but Victoria’s has expired and Tasmania's ends soon.

The full article is available to view on the Herald Sun website.

Quad bike maintenance a must. 

Accidents causing serious harm and fatalities from quad bikes continue to be an issue in New Zealand. Since 2006 there have been 75 deaths, and 614 people have been seriously injured.

Following the death of an employee on Tui Glen Farms in Wharepuhunga in the Waikato in January 2020, WorkSafe New Zealand says a fundamental part of the health and safety process should be checking the quad bikes tyre pressure.

Investigations by WorkSafe found that the bike that the farm employee was using when it rolled on a steep slope had incorrectly inflated tyres with significant variations of over-inflation of tyre pressures. Also found was that the employee had not been instructed or trained on checking and maintaining tyre pressure.

WorkSafe is currently working with ACC to introduce a cashback offer on crush protection devices (CPD's) and it is recommending that businesses consider installing them on the back of quad bikes.

WorkSafe also strongly encourages farmers to look at what vehicles are best suited for their farm's terrain, as a farm ute or side by side vehicle may be a safer option than a quad bike in some cases.

The original article can be viewed on the WorkSafe New Zealand website.

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