ACCC Quad Bike Safety Taskforce release final report

Photo: Taylor Jurd
Photo: Taylor Jurd

A final report into quad bike safety has been drafted and now submissions are being called for so recommendations can be provided to the Assistant Treasurer about implementing a mandatory safety standard.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) formed the Taskforce in 2017 with the aim of investigating and determining whether the Assistant Treasurer make a mandatory safety standard under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The Quad Bike Safety Standard Exposure Draft' was released April 6.

Before that the ACCC released its Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) in May 2018 and prior to that its 2017 Quad Bike Safety Issues Paper.

Some of the recommendations in the final draft include that quad bikes comply with the US and European standards, are affixed with a warning label and general use bikes be fitted with an operator protection device.

An ACCC spokesperson said they have made quad bikes a priority for 2019 and will continue to direct resources to improving their safety.

"The quad bike safety standard recommended to the Minister requires within 12 months, all new quad bikes to meet certain requirements of the US or European quad bike standards, have a warning label affixed and information in the operator's manual alerting riders to the risk of rollover and display on a hang tag, the angle at which the quad bike tips sideways on to two wheels when tested on a tilt table," they said.

"Additionally, within 24 months, it requires new general-use model quad bikes to have an operator protection device fitted or integrated into its design to help protect riders from being crushed or pinned and must meet minimum stability requirements.

The ACCC spokesperson said the final decision to make a safety standard under the ACL is a matter for the Commonwealth Government. 

The dangers associated with quad bikes are well known in Australia and recognised globally, the ACCC spokesperson said.

"Quad bikes are unusual in that, unlike cars, trucks, tractors and motorbikes, they are not subject to any regulation, and do not have to meet any minimum safety design standard prior to supply in Australia," the spokesperson said.

So far this year the media has reported five quad bike fatalities in Australia, the ACCC spokesperson said.

"Of all consumer products that are not subject to regulation, quad bikes are the leading cause of fatalities in Australia, estimated to be an average of 16 fatalities per year and six emergency department presentations per day, of which two people are being hospitalised for serious injuries," the spokesperson said.

Submissions from stakeholders are due by 5pm, June, 10, 2019.