Quad bike safety regulations to come in October

Candice EvansGeraldton Guardian
Williams farmer Mitchell Hogg said new quad bike safety legislation would have a place if it saved lives.
Camera IconWilliams farmer Mitchell Hogg said new quad bike safety legislation would have a place if it saved lives. Credit: Bob Garnant

One of the most dangerous vehicles on Australian farms is about to become much safer, with the second stage of a mandatory safety standard on the cusp of kicking in.

Despite being responsible for the deaths of 14 West Australians in the past decade, quad bikes had never been subject to a safety standard until last October, when the first stage of new regulations took effect. Under these regulations, all new and imported second-hand quad bikes sold in Australia must meet requirements that include: testing for lateral static stability; having a tag attached showing the angle at which the quad bike tips on to two wheels; and carrying a rollover warning label.

The owner’s manual must also include rollover safety information.

To ensure quad bike dealers around the country have been meeting their obligations, Consumer Protection WA and other consumer law regulators have been conducting inspections, with pleasing results.

According to figures released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, 84 per cent of quad bikes assessed were found to be compliant with the stage one safety requirements.

Even though one in six quad bikes inspected were not compliant, suppliers have co-operated and taken steps to fix the problems, including recalling non-compliant bikes where necessary. Safety requirements will further tighten soon when, from October 11, all new and imported quad bikes sold will be required to meet minimum stability requirements and be fitted with an operator protection device to protect riders in the event of a rollover.

The penalties for suppliers failing to comply with a safety or information standard can be severe. Not only might they be found guilty of a criminal offence, but a supplier could face fines from $500,000 for an individual and upwards of $10 million for a body corporate.

If you’ve bought or seen a quad bike you believe does not comply with the safety requirements, contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or consumer@ dmirs.wa.gov.au and our product safety team will investigate.

For more on the new safety measures, go to dmirs.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/quad-bikes.

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