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New quad bike safety standard to apply from October 11

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A new government quad bike safety standard is to take effect from October 11 in a crackdown on the rate of fatalities, particularly on farms where these accidents are the leading cause of death and severe injury.

Fourteen people died in quad bike-related accidents in Australia in the first half of this year, almost double 2019’s eight deaths in just six months.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Deputy Chair Mick Keogh says the inherent instability of quad bikes causes them to roll over, trapping the occupants.

“For many years [quad bike] manufacturers have been claiming rider behaviour is the major reason for the number of deaths and injuries,” he said. “Their aim has been to shift the focus away from the unsafe design of quad bikes.

Insurers QBE and IAG welcomed the new standard when it was approved last year.

Since 2011, 150 people have died and six people require hospital treatment each day as a result of quad bike injuries.

The first stage of the new Quad Bike Safety Standard demands all new and directly imported second-hand quad bikes must meet US quad bike standards, be tested for lateral static stability and display the angle at which they tip onto two wheels at the point of sale.

Rollover safety information must be detailed in the owner’s manual and the quad bike must display information during operation alerting the operator to the risk of rollover.

The second stage, effective a year later, requires the quad bikes to have an operator protection device and must not tip on to two wheels on a slope less than 28.81 degrees laterally, or less than 38.65 degrees longitudinally.

“The new safety measures will go a long way to reducing deaths as they are designed to reduce the frequency and impact of quad bike rollovers,” Mr Keogh said.

He says riders must wear helmets and appropriate safety gear, do all necessary training and not let children ride adult quad bikes.