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New quad bike laws aim to arrest shocking safety record

Statewide

Tightened restrictions on quad bikes have landed in Queensland as part of new measures to halt the vehicles’ appalling safety record.

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Over the past 10 years 166 people have died while riding quad bikes, including six this year.

New standards introduced 12 months ago to arrest the injury and fatality rate reached phase two this week, applying to imported and second-hand bikes as well as new models straight from the factory floor.

The stage one standards introduced in October last year required all quad bikes to meet certain international safety standards and come with better safety information and warnings. 

Stage two requires all new and imported second-hand general use quad bikes to have an operator protection device either fitted into the bike or integrated into the design. They must also meet lateral roll and front and rear pitch stability requirements. 

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman, said the changes were vital to improve rider safety, especially people in rural areas  who were more likely to use the bikes as a legitimate and effective farm tool.

“Many of the people who died were working at the time, on farms and at other rural workplaces,” she said.

“In fact, from January 2011 to 21 December 2018, Safe Work Australia found that 62 of fatalities occurred whilst the rider was using their quad bike for work purposes. 

“Due to the nature of rural work, quad bikes are often driven over rocky or uneven ground, crossing slopes, towing attachments, or carrying heavy or unstable loads. All these things increase the risk of a rollover significantly.”

Fentimann said that while the new safety standard would go a long way to help reduce serious injuries or fatalities when using quad bikes, there were still responsibilities that that would fall into the hands of the rider and workplace management.”

Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT), together with their interstate counterparts and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, will ramp up quad bike safety compliance, as one of their shared national priorities, she said.

Quad bike dealers who have faced supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, could have quad bikes on order before stage two commences, and may not have stock arrive until later in the year. 

“To assist these small businesses, the safety standard was amended to make general use quad bikes exempt from stage two requirements if they were ordered by a dealer before 1 July 2021 and supplied by 31 December 2021,” Fentimann said.. 

 

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