Quad rat­ing bat­tle looms

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

THE bid to es­tab­lish a new safety-rat­ing sys­tem for quad bikes is set to pit farm­ers, doc­tors and aca­demics against man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Fed­eral Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Michaelia Cash has an­nounced the for­ma­tion of a task­force to in­ves­ti­gate a safety rat­ing sys­tem for quad bikes as well as de­sign stan­dards.

The Univer­sity of NSW’s trans­port and road safety de­part­ment has al­ready de­vel­oped a five-star safety rat­ing that puts quad bikes and sideby-side ve­hi­cles in the same rat­ing cat­e­gory.

The re­sult of the univer­sity’s sys­tem is that most quad bikes are given a much lower safety rat­ing than side-by-side ve­hi­cles.

The Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries won’t ac­cept that con­clu­sion.

FCAI quad-bike spokesman Mark Collins said man­u­fac­tur­ers would not ac­cept rank­ing quad bikes against side-by-side ve­hi­cles.

Mr Collins said the univer­sity’s scheme was not ev­i­dence-based.

He said the in­dus­try body was not op­posed to a safety star-rat­ing sys­tem as long as quad bikes and side-by-side ve­hi­cles were ranked in sep­a­rate cat­e­gories.

“We’d sup­port a star-rat­ing sys­tem if it was like NCAP [new car as­sess­ment pro­gram] that was ev­i­denced-based,” he said.

The Na­tional Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion and Ru­ral Doc­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia have al­ready come out in sup­port of the univer­sity’s star-rat­ing sys­tem for quad bikes and sideby-sides.

Fed­eral Small Busi­ness Min­is­ter Michael McCor­mack said the task­force would de­velop a stan­dard that might in­clude ed­u­ca­tion ma­te­ri­als and is­sues such as the power, weight and rollover risk of the ve­hi­cles.

The na­tional task­force will be led by the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the safety task­force and to make a sub­mis­sions visit www. prod­uct­safety.gov.au.

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