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New federal standard implemented to improve quad bike safety

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

On 11 October 2019, the Federal Government implemented the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 (Cth), to improve quad bike safety in Australia.


According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”), from 2011 to 2018 there were at least 128 fatalities associated with quad bikes.


Fifteen percent (15%) of these deaths involved children.


The ACCC says that “quad bikes are one of the leading causes of death and serious injury on Australian farms” and the main cause of rollover deaths are asphyxiation, crush and head injuries.


The standard applies to new quad bikes, except where a quad bike is imported into Australia and it is second-hand. 


The standard requires that in twelve months, Type 1 models (including single operator, general use, sports, youth and transition models) and Type 2 general use models:


  1. Comply with either US or European standards;
  2. Display a rollover warning sign;
  3. Complete lateral roll stability testing in accordance with the standard; and
  4. Attach a lateral roll stability tag that it is clearly visible and legible. This tag must meet certain requirements, including the minimum angle the quad bike tips sideways.



Example of stability test tag


Example of a rollover warning sign

In two years, all new Type 1 and Type 2 general use quad bikes must be fitted with an operator protection device, including an ATV Lifeguard, Quadbar or a device that offers the same or better level of protection for operators.


Although these standards greatly improve quad bike safety, there are still further steps the state government can take to improve the safety of second-hand quad bikes.


There is currently no legislated age restriction for operating a quad bike or a requirement that operators wear helmets or other protective clothing.


The ACCC urges state governments to implement additional regulations regarding protective clothing, age restrictions and a rebate scheme that encourages current quad bike owners to install operator protection devices.