National Farmers' Federation

Farmers urged to provide feedback on ACCC's proposed quad bike regulations

Farmers have until May 4 to have their say on proposed changes to quad bike safety regulation. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released a consultation paper outlining a number of different regulatory options to improve the safety of quad bike operation. Options include some or all of the following elements: applying a mandatory safety standard to quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles (SSVs) – akin to a ‘safety star’ rating; additional warnings on vehicles highlighting rider risks; the requirement to fit operator protection devices and mandatory performance tests for mechanical suspension, stability and dynamic handling. The ACCC believes the adoption of all recommendations in the consultation paper, is likely to prevent the most deaths and injuries from quad bike incidents. NFF President Fiona Simson said quad bikes remained the leading cause of death on Australian farms and welcomed the ACCC’s commitment to improving this. “Quad bikes are a staple piece of equipment for most farming operations. “But, as we’ve seen, time and time again, if not operated correctly and in line with operation and safety guidelines, tragedy can result. “Since January 1, 2011, 114 people have died in quad bike-related incidents. “Too often we’re seeing children riding quad bikes and passengers and in appropriate loads being carried – which place quad bikes a great risk of roll-over.” Ms Simson said the NFF believed rider education, regulation and manufacturer changes were the keys to saving lives from quad bike incidents. “For some time, the NFF has advocated for a star safety rating system to be applied to quad bikes, so farmers and other consumers can make informed buying decisions. “So far, there has been little enthusiasm from manufacturers. It’s pleasing to see the ACCC view such an approach as having merit.” The ACCC’s regulations cannot extend to operator behavior such as the imposition of a ban on children from operating adult quad bikes and SSVs and mandating the use of personal protection equipment, such as helmets, for operators and passengers of quad bikes and SSVs. However the Commission has encouraged the consideration of such ‘complementary regulatory measures’ by other jurisdictions and agencies. Farmers are urged make a submission in response to the ACCC’s the proposed options to improve the safety of quad bikes by Friday May 4. Find out more here https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-moves-to-improve-quad-bike-safety

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