Sam Turner from Gordon Turner Motorcycles Gunnedah, Gunnedah farmer Cathy Smith discuss quad bike safety.

WORKING SAFER: The ACCC are seeking feedback from stakeholders on quad bike safety reform. Photo: Ashley Gardner
WORKING SAFER: The ACCC are seeking feedback from stakeholders on quad bike safety reform. Photo: Ashley Gardner

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) quad bike safety task force is seeking feedback from quad bike dealers, users and safety experts to help make quad bikes safer.

Quad bike riders and industry can make submissions to the ACCC’s quad bike safety investigation, with proposed reforms included in an issues paper released on November 13.

ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said the call for feedback regarding quad bike safety is to ensure quad bikes are safer in the future.

”Tragically, 114 people have been killed in Australia in quad bike accidents since 2011,” Mr Keogh said.

”The ACCC is investigating a range of possible options to improve quad bike safety and prevent further deaths and injuries in the community.

Mr Keogh said it was vital for stakeholders to have their say on quad bike safety.

”The ACCC recognises that quad bikes are important vehicles for many Australians who rely on them for work on farms, or use them recreationally, which is why it is important for stakeholders to have their say,” he said. 

The task force was established in October this year by Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash and Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack.

Now the task force is seeking feedback on mandating specific design requirements and construction of quad bikes, including features that reduce the risk for children riding quad bikes designed for adults.

As well as introducing a safety rating system and the testing of quad bike models before they are sold in Australia and mandating safety warning information consumers would receive when buying a new quad bike.

Sam Turner from Gordan Turner Motorcycles in Gunnedah believes quad bike safety is dependent on the person using the machine.

“If you use it safely and properly you should be fine,” Mr Turner said.

“They are like any form of transport, if you use poor judgement and it is not the right tool for the right job you will find yourself in trouble.”

Mr Turner said manufacturers are currently implementing many new safety features to quad bikes.

“There are some really effective roll bars on the market at the moment,” he said.

"The lifeguard crush protection device and the 'side to side bars' are helpful in preventing injuries and stuff but it really depends on how you are using the bike and on what terrain you are using it."

Gunnedah farmer Cathy Smith said quad bikes are a valuable work tool in the right hands.

”It is irresponsible to let an unprepared rider use a quad bike,” Mrs Smith said.

”For certain jobs they are a wonderful thing to have, but in my opinion most quad bike related accidents come down to a poor lack of judgement and responsibility.”

Mrs Smith also said a safety rating for new quad bikes would be a good idea.

”I think a rating system is a very good idea,” she said.

”It would help make safety more uniformed and those manufacturers that don’t meet the higher safety standards would get left behind.

”I would definitely like to see it happen.”

The ACCC will be making a draft recommendation to government early next year, with a final recommendation to be made mid-2018.  

To view the issues paper and information on the consultation process visit www.accc.gov.au