New quad bike laws

New quad bike laws

Federal Government set to introduce new quad bike laws requiring crush protection devices

Posted on 23.09.2019

The Federal Government looks set to introduce new laws requiring new quad bikes to be fitted with mandatory rollover protection, after pressure from farming and medical groups.

The ABC understands the Federal Coalition is soon expected to announce that all new quad bikes must be fitted with crush protection devices (CPDs) within two years.

It comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) first recommended the change in March.

Over the past eight years, 136 people have died in quad bike accidents and the consumer watchdog said 60 per cent of those fatalities involved rollovers.

Operator or crush protection bars sit upright on the back of a quad bike and are designed to reduce the risk of the driver being caught between the ground and the vehicle.

They retail for about $600 to $700. The New South Wales, Victorian and Tasmanian governments already offer rebates to have the devices retro-fitted.

Leading manufacturers Yamaha and Honda do not sell quad bikes fitted with crush protection and have threatened to pull out of the Australian market in response to any new laws.

Yamaha Motors Australia’s chief executive Brad Ryan acknowledged a government ruling was “imminent” and said the company would undoubtedly face litigation following any change.

In a statement to the ABC, Mr Ryan decried some of the university research in the areas as “appalling science” and said recommended crush protection devices were not safe or fit for purpose.

He went on to argue that compulsory fitting of “two specific aftermarket products” was “a legal risk far beyond what we could accept, let alone the risk of failure resulting in harm to our customers.”
 

Key points

  • All new quad bikes would need to be fitted with crush protection devices within two years
  • The ACCC recommended the changes earlier this year in response to fatalities involving rollovers
  • Leading manufacturers have threatened to pull out of the Australian market in response

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