Revved up safety standards for quad bikes 

Published Friday, 15 October, 2021 at 04:31 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

New safety standards for the use of quad bikes have come into effect during Safe Work month and the Palaszczuk Government is urging users to keep quad bike safety front of mind. 

 The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said that general use quad bikes will now be required to meet more stringent stability requirements and include an operator protection device. 

“These changes are absolutely vital to improve the safety of quad bikes and help reduce the high number of quad bike related deaths and injuries in Australia,” Minister Fentiman said. 

“A safety standard for quad bikes was introduced in two stages from 2019.  Stage 1 commenced in October 2020 and required all quad bikes to meet certain international safety standards and come with better safety information and warnings. 

“Stage 2 requires all new and imported second-hand general use quad bikes to have an operator protection device either fitted into the bike or integrated into the design. They must also meet lateral roll and front and rear pitch stability requirements. 

“Over the past 10 years 166 people have died in quad bike related incidents, and sadly six people have been killed this year. 

“Many of the people who died were working at the time, on farms and at other rural workplaces. In fact, from January 2011 to 21 December 2018, Safe Work Australia found that 62 of fatalities occurred whilst the rider was using their quad bike for work purposes. 

“Due to the nature of rural work, quad bikes are often driven over rocky or uneven ground, crossing slopes, towing attachments, or carrying heavy or unstable loads. All these things increase the risk of a rollover significantly. 

“While the new safety standard will go a long way to help reduce serious injury or fatality when using quad bikes, there are still responsibilities that fall into the hands of the rider and workplace management.” 

Queensland’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT), together with their interstate counterparts and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, will ramp up quad bike safety compliance, as one of their shared national priorities. 

The Minister said we understand that quad bike dealers have faced supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, which could mean that quad bike stock ordered well before stage 2 commences, may not arrive until later in the year. 

“To assist these small businesses, the safety standard was amended to make general use quad bikes exempt from stage 2 requirements if they were ordered by a dealer before 1 July 2021 and supplied by 31 December 2021,” she said. 

“To work safe and get home safe, always follow the OFT’s ‘prepare safe, wear safe and ride safe’ tips and check that the quad bike you’re using meets the mandatory safety standard.” 

Prepare safe  

  • Decide if a quad bike is really the right vehicle for the activity. 

  • When you purchase a new quad bike, use the hang tag information to compare the stability of different models. 

  • Ensure you are properly trained before you ride a quad bike. 

  • Maintain the bike so it is in safe condition. 

  • Read the owner’s manual and observe the manufacturer's safety warnings and recommended use of the vehicle. 

  • Before you leave for a quad bike ride, always tell someone where you plan to go and when you expect to return. 

Wear safe: 

  • Always wear a helmet. 

  • Wear protective clothing and gear such as goggles, long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves. 

Ride safe 

  • Never let children ride quad bikes that are meant for adults – even as passengers. 

  • Do not carry any passengers on quad bikes that are meant for one person. 

  • Quad bikes are not all-terrain vehicles so they cannot go safely on all types of terrain. Avoid riding on rough terrain or steep slopes. 

  • Ride on familiar tracks and beware of obstacles. 

  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

  • Always supervise children near any quad bike activity. 

  • Always carry a mobile phone or radio device so you can contact help in the case of an emergency. 


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