RACQ backs call for quad bike safety overhaul

The State’s peak motoring body has thrown its support behind an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) review, which has released a raft of draft recommendations to improve the safety of quad bikes.

Among the recommendations announced today was the introduction of a safety rating system, crush protection devices and mandatory minimum performance standards.

The ACCC launched a review into safety standards following a concerning number of deaths and hospitalisations across the country due to the off-road vehicles.

“The ACCC believes a mandatory safety standard incorporating all of these elements is the best option to save lives and make quad bikes safe for everyone,” ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said.

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

  • Adopts the US Standard and required an additional rollover warning label
  • Introduced a safety star rating system so safer vehicles received a higher rating
  • Required manufacturers to integrate an operator protection device, such as a crush protection device or roll over protection device in the design of new quad bikes
  • Imposed minimum performance tests for dynamic handling, stability and mechanical suspension and required that all wheels be able to rotate at different speeds.

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said every year more than 16 deaths occurred due to quad bikes and approximately six people every day attended hospital emergency departments, two with serious injuries.

“Improving quad bike safety is essential and safe operation is a critical aspect of their use,” Mr Spalding said.

“The ANCAP and Used Car Safety Rating systems have worked well to help consumers choose safer motor vehicles and so we expect a similar system to rate quad bikes could have benefits for their buyers and users.

“We think these draft recommendations would go a long way towards increasing the protection of riders, particularly introducing a star rating system to help consumers make safer choices and greater use of crush and roll over protection devices.”

Stakeholders were encouraged to make submissions on the draft recommendations before 4 May 2017 with final recommendations due to be delivered to Government mid-2018.