Roll bars for quad bikes

Mercury (Hobart) - - FRONT PAGE - ELLEN WHINNETT

ALL new quad bikes sold in Aus­tralia will be re­quired to have a roll bar, as the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment seeks to re­duce the fa­tal­i­ties in­volv­ing the pop­u­lar farm ve­hi­cles.

The law will come into ef­fect in 2021, af­ter the Gov­ern­ment ac­cepted the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion for manda­tory rollover pro­tec­tion. A roll bar over the seated rider means that if the ve­hi­cle flips the rider is not crushed.

ALL new quad bikes sold in Aus­tralia will be re­quired to have a roll bar, as the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment seeks to re­duce the fa­tal­i­ties in­volv­ing the pop­u­lar farm ve­hi­cles.

As­sis­tant Trea­surer Michael Sukkar an­nounced the Gov­ern­ment had ac­cepted the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion for manda­tory rollover pro­tec­tion.

The law will come into ef­fect in 2021. A roll bar over the seated rider means that if the ve­hi­cle flips — as so many have done in fatal crashes — the rider is not crushed.

Quad bikes, also known as all-ter­rain ve­hi­cles, are re­spon­si­ble for 16 deaths a year on aver­age in Aus­tralia.

A three-year-old boy died in Gipp­s­land ear­lier this week when the bike he was riding on was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent on a ru­ral prop­erty.

There have also been a num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties in Tas­ma­nia in re­cent years.

Mr Sukkar said the Gov­ern­ment would in­tro­duce a new safety stan­dard for quad bikes to re­duce rollovers and pro­vide bet­ter pro­tec­tion for users.

“Since 2011, on aver­age 16 peo­ple a year are killed in a quad bike ac­ci­dent, and an es­ti­mated six peo­ple a day present to an emer­gency de­part­ment, with at least two of these ad­mit­ted with se­ri­ous in­juries,’’ he said.

“Quad bikes are the lead­ing cause of fa­tal­i­ties in Aus­tralia of all con­sumer prod­ucts that aren’t reg­u­lated. This safety stan­dard aims to ad­dress the high risk of rollovers, which is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for many farm­ers and their fam­i­lies.’’

In a first step to mak­ing quad bikes safer, within 12 months all new ones sold here will have to meet ei­ther Eu­ro­pean or US stan­dards for com­po­nents such as brakes and sus­pen­sion, and be tested for sta­bil­ity.

“These re­quire­ments will put the onus on for­eign man­u­fac­tur­ers to sup­ply safer quad bikes,,’’ Mr Sukkar said.

Farm­ing and com­mu­nity groups led by the Na­tional Farm­ers Fed­er­a­tion have been ag­i­tat­ing for years for the bikes to be fit­ted with manda­tory roll bars. They cost about $600.

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