Commissioner's blog: End of the road for unsafe quad bikes
One of the most dangerous vehicles on Australian farms is about to become much safer, with the second stage of a mandatory safety standard on the cusp of kicking in.
Despite being responsible for the deaths of 14 West Australians in the past decade, quad bikes had never been subject to a safety standard until October last year, when the first stage of new regulations took effect.
Under these regulations, all new and imported second-hand quad bikes sold in Australia must meet requirements that include: testing for lateral static stability; having a hang tag attached to them showing the angle at which the quad bike tips onto two wheels; and carrying a roll over warning label on the bike. The owner’s manual must also include roll over safety information.
To ensure quad bike dealerships around the country have been meeting their obligations, Consumer Protection WA and other consumer law regulators around the country have been conducting inspections, with pleasing results.
According to figures released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), 84 per cent of quad bikes assessed were found to be compliant with the stage 1 safety requirements. Even though one-in-six quad bikes inspected were not compliant, suppliers have so far cooperated with the investigations and taken steps to fix problems, including recalling non-compliant bikes where necessary.
Safety requirements will further tighten soon, when from 11 October 2021 onwards all new and imported quad bikes sold will be required to meet minimum stability requirements and be fitted with an operator protection device (OPD) to protect riders in the event of a rollover.
The penalties for suppliers failing to comply with a mandatory safety or information standard can be severe. Not only might they be found guilty of a criminal offence, but a supplier could face fines ranging from $500,000 for an individual and upwards of $10 million for a body corporate.
If you’ve bought or seen a quad bike you believe does not comply with the safety requirements, contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or email@example.com and our product safety team will investigate. Find out more about the new safety measures: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/quad-bikes
Commissioner for Consumer Protection
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