Friday, 31 March 2017 09:55

Debate rages over quad use ‘culture’

Written by  Mark Daniel
Quad bike safety is under review in Australia following a spate of fatal crashes. Quad bike safety is under review in Australia following a spate of fatal crashes.

Not many weeks pass when quad crashes don’t make the news here or in Australia; for example, the first weekend in March saw two fatalities and a serious injury in NSW.

In a move to limit these, Queensland last week made helmets compulsory; and in Victoria and NSW rebate incentives are offered to encourage farmers to fit roll-over protection devices.

Farmsafe AU spokeswoman Sarah McKinnon says a big change is needed in quad use ‘culture’ to raise safety, and she suggests manufacturers find ways to design for greater safety.

In response, the Australian quad industry is urging state and regional governments to immediately ban riders younger than 16 from operating adult-size machines.

The Federal Chamber of Automobile Industries (FCAI) also wants state governments to mandate continuous adult supervision of riders under 16 when they are operating “age-appropriate” quads.

The industry insists that full-size quads were never designed to be ridden by children, yet they keep doing it despite warning notices on machines and freely available safety and training materials.

In New Zealand, the Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford reiterates the long-held industry viewpoint that only vehicles that comply with the ANSI standards on power and speed for age-related quads or side-by-side machines should be sold in NZ.

The MIA is also urging the government to prohibit the importing of machines that do not meet this standard. And it urges parents to prohibit children younger than six from riding any size quads or side-by-sides, and youngsters under 16 from riding adult-size machines.

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