ALL new and imported second hand quad bikes sold in Australia must now meet the first stage of the government’s mandatory safety standard after it came into effect on 11 October.
As of yesterday, all new and imported second hand quad bikes sold in Australia must be tested for lateral static stability, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.
The bikes must also display the angle at which the quad bike tips onto two wheels on a hang tag at the point of sale and carry a roll over warning label on the quad bike. The owner’s manual must also include roll-over safety information.
The ACCC said the quad bikes must also be fitted with a spark arrester that conforms to the Australian or United States standard, and meet certain requirements of the United States or European quad bike safety standards.
These relate to equipment such as brakes, clutch, throttle, tyres, drive train, handlebars and foot wells, maximum speed capabilities and the provision of safety information through warning labels and hang tags, the ACCC said.
ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said the first stage of the standard is a significant step in improving the safety of quad bikes in Australia, and addressing the extremely concerning rate of injuries and fatalities caused by quad bike accidents.
“Consumers will now be able to have confidence that quad bikes they buy will meet a certain level of quality and safety.”
Quad bike fatalities have doubled this year
Safework Australia data showed 152 people have died from incidents involving quad bikes since 2011, including 23 children. It is estimated that hundreds of people also present to hospital emergency departments each year as a result of quad bike related injuries. There have already been 16 fatalities this year, double last year’s toll.
Most quad bike accidents involve a vehicle rollover, which can result in victims dying from injuries associated with being crushed by the quad bike.
“We know rollovers are one of the greatest risks to quad bike riders.
“The new hang tags will allow riders to quickly compare the stability of similar quad bikes when they are shopping around, and the warning label will remind quad bike users of the risks while riding,” Mr Keogh said.
Additional requirements for new and second hand imported general use quad bikes will become mandatory in one year’s time, which include the fitting or integration of operator protection devices and minimum stability requirements.
Mr Keogh said safe riding precautions remain crucial.
“Always wear helmets and the right safety gear, complete the necessary training, and never let children ride adult quad bikes.”
The ACCC is working with state and territory Australian Consumer Law regulators to conduct surveillance activities to ensure suppliers are complying with the standard. Non-compliance may attract fines and penalties.
In October 2019, the Federal Government accepted the ACCC’s recommendation to introduce a new mandatory safety standard for quad bikes.
Consumers and businesses can make a complaint to the ACCC if they believe they have seen or have been sold a quad bike that does not comply with the requirements of the standard. More information for consumers and businesses or suppliers is available on the Product Safety Australia website.