Commissioner's Blog – Keep kids safe around quad bikes
With Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping
Visiting a farm or a rural property during school holidays can be an exciting experience for many children, but it is important parents are aware of the dangers posed by quad bikes.
This popular piece of farm equipment can readily roll over and cause serious injury or death to operators, particularly when used on uneven ground, at high speed or when carrying heavy or uneven loads.
Quad bike accidents were responsible for a record 23 deaths, including four children across Australia last year, mostly as a result of roll-overs. Already this year, a 12yo boy from New South Wales died when the quad bike he was a passenger on flipped, trapping him underneath.
While quad bikes have the unenviable title of being one of the leading causes of death and serious injury on Australian farms, they are thankfully becoming safer due to new regulations.
Since October 2020, all new and imported quad bikes are required to meet US and European standards, be tested for stability, come with a tag that allows you to compare the safety of models prior to purchase, and warn of the rollover risks in a clearly displayed label on the bike and in the owner’s manual. Recently a range of Suzuki quad bikes sold nationally were recalled, as they had not been fitted with the required reflectors, compliance certificates or hang-tags.
Safety requirements will further tighten this year, when from 11 October 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.
Despite the new regulations, we believe the safest option is for children to avoid riding quad bikes altogether.
We urge quad bike owners to ensure their machines are maintained and in a safe condition. Before riding, read the owner’s manual, observe the manufacturer’s safety warnings and usage recommendations, and install a roll bar – or upgrade to a new quad with one already fitted.
For more information visit: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/quad-bikes
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