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Quad bike debate won’t roll over

AROUND 16 people die as a result of quad bike accidents each year, one of the leading causes of death and injury on farms in Australia.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has proposed major changes to improve the safety of quad bikes, including the introduction of a safety rating system, crush protection devices and mandatory minimum performance standards.
One of the ACCC’s recommendations is to require manufacturers to integrate operator protection devices such as crush protection devices or roll over protection devices in the design of new quad bikes.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries all-terrain vehicle manager Mark Collins said despite trying, no manufacturer or engineering company has been able to develop an integrated protection device that has a safety benefit.
He said roll over protection devices require a seatbelt, which is not practical on quad bikes.
“Manufacturers have developed side by side vehicles that can accommodate roll over protection,” he said.
The Victorian Government is encouraging farmers to purchase a side by side vehicle or a small utility vehicle by offering a $1200 rebate.
The government is also offering a rebate of $600 for the purchase of up to two approved operator protection devices.
Buffalo farmer Peter Young said his quad bike had just broken down and he was planning to replace it with a side by side vehicle, primarily for safety reasons.
“There have been way too many serious injuries around our area and around Fish Creek,” he said.
“With the way things are going, they won’t need to make roll over protection mandatory, as WorkSafe and insurance issues will push the change as I’m seeing on many farms already.”
Mr Young said he can’t see how cages or roll frames could be mandated on quad bikes while manufactures aren’t recognising them.
Kevin Gray from Leongatha Honda said while he thinks operator protection devices are a good idea, they won’t necessarily stop injuries in the case of an accident.
“Personally, I think a helmet is a priority over roll over protection. Helmets should still be worn even if a roll over bar is fitted,” he said.
Mr Gray said quad bike manufacturers do not recommended operator protection devices.
“The bikes aren’t designed to have roll over protection fitted,” he said.
“I do think companies do need to put more into it.”
Mr Gray said despite the dangers of quad bikes, they continue to get more and more powerful.
He said one manufacturer’s solution was having several different keys to control how powerful the bike is.
“That is a fantastic idea,” he said.
Mr Gray said the government’s incentives were “quite good” but was concerned they didn’t cover all quad bike owners, like hobby farmers.
Mr Collins said the most reliable research and a recent ATV user survey showed crush protection devices cause as many injuries as they prevent.
“As they can cause so many injuries, they do not qualify as a safety device,” he said.

Safety concerns: a call for operator protection devices to be installed on quad bikes is causing debate between industry professionals.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25353

Posted by on Jul 3 2018. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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