Changes needed to improve quad bike safety

Over 100 people around Australia died and scores were seriously injured due to quad bikes over the past five years in Australia.

In our submission to the ACCC’s current investigation into quad bike safety, Maurice Blackburn has highlighted the need for tougher regulation and better rider training to help stem the tide of these quad bike related deaths.

The majority of the 104 deaths and serious injuries recorded over the past five years occurred on farms and rural properties, and in many cases were avoidable. An equivalent number of injuries and deaths attributable to one type of machinery would be unacceptable in any other industry.  

Consumer safety ratings system

The development of a consumer safety ratings system for quad bikes, similar to the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), is a key part of our submission.

Having a side-by-side comparison of the safety features of quad bikes at the point of sale will allow consumers to make informed decisions as to how they prioritise safety at the various price points in the market. We believe this will also encourage manufacturers to strive for higher ratings to remain competitive, and encourage importers and distributors to favour more saleable products.

Improved safety for children

Work health and safety data has also revealed that many of those killed or injured on quad bikes are children, many well below the age of 16.

We are calling for tightened legislation to ensure child safety in relation to quad bikes, including that no child should be allowed to ride a quad bike on public roads and no child should be allowed to ride a quad bike designed for an adult.

Mandatory use of approved helmets

The wearing of approved helmets should be required not just when on the road, but whenever a quad bike is in use. This should apply to both riders and passengers.

Real change requires a combination of design enhancements and minimum standards, increased consumer education and a national approach to rider training and awareness, as recommended by several coronial inquests.  

The ACCC is currently investigating whether a safety standard should be introduced for quad bikes under Australian Consumer Law, with final recommendations due to be made mid-2018. 

Download Maurice Blackburn’s submission to the ACCC Quad Bike Safety Issues

TOPIC: Road rights
RELATED LEGAL SERVICES: Road accident injuries

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Andrew McKenzie

Maurice Blackburn Caboolture
Andrew McKenzie is a passionate fighter for what is fair. He is a Principal at Maurice Blackburn and head of one of our Queensland departments. Andrew manages our Maroochydore office on the Sunshine Coast and has oversight of our Caboolture, Bunderberg, Rockhampton and Mackay offices. Andrew has been listed by the prestigious Doyle's Guide as a lawyer of note. He has spent 27 years working in plaintiff law firms, including 21 years as a qualified lawyer. He practices exclusively in civil law and has appeared on behalf of his clients in just about every court and tribunal in Queensland. “My Grandfather was State President and Secretary of the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen’s Association of Australia (FEDFA), which has since merged with the CFMMEU. I was proud of the work he did fighting for the rights of workers, and I became a lawyer so I could continue that tradition of helping Queenslanders," says Andrew. “It’s so rewarding to be able to assist a client in one of the most difficult and challenging periods of their life. I’m inspired by the manner in which clients overcome such incredible adversity and I’m driven by the incredibly intelligent, hard-working, passionate and – most importantly – empathetic people at Maurice Blackburn.” One of Andrew's recent notable cases was when he represented Lindsey Beven in her ground-breaking case against Brisbane Youth Service. Andrew is dedicated to social justice and serving the Queensland community. His advocacy for vulnerable road users resulted in him appearing on their behalf before the Queensland Parliamentary Enquiry into Cycling in 2013. In May 2018, he authored submissions to the National Quadbike Taskforce with the ACCC. He is the Queensland face of Maurice Blackburn’s Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You (SMIDSY) campaign for motorcycle safety. Andrew has also been instrumental in improving the safety of surf lifesavers in Queensland. In 2003, he helped implement policy changes regarding the correct protocol for using inflatable rescue boats. Andrew is also an expert in the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) which was launched in Queensland on 1 July 2016. Andrew has volunteered at the Sunshine Coast Community Legal Service for more than a decade. In his spare time he appreciates all forms of sport and barracks for Liverpool, Brisbane Roar, Brisbane Lions, Parramatta Eels and Queensland Reds. Memberships & accreditations Queensland Law Society member Australian Lawyers Alliance member ...

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