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