The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recommended to the Federal government a mandatory safety standard for the fitting, or integration of operator protection devices (OPDs) to general-use model quad bikes to reduce deaths and injuries in the event of a rollover.
According to the Media Release issued by the then Minister for Consumer Affairs and Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert the proposed safety standard would apply to the future supply of quad bikes in Australia, following a transition period. The OPDs would be required only for general-use quad bikes and not sports models or youth and transition models.
The release also said there would be a two-year transition period for the general-use model quad bikes to meet the specific design requirements and one-year transition for all other requirements.
Despite extensive consultation on the recommendation with technical experts, consumer groups, industry and government bodies etc., the Minister has NOT ACCEPTED the ACCC recommendation and has sought further comment from stakeholders on the ACCC’s recommended safety standard. These closed on June 10 this year. The ACCC will make a recommendation to government soon on its second recommendation.
The quad bike riders, in particular farmers, the industry and others concerned about rider safety have made their position known publicly. In particular Honda* and Yamaha* have announced that they would stop selling ATVs in Australia if the previous ACCC recommendation became law because independent studies have shown that OPDs are
- NOT an effective safety solution
- LIKELY to cause as many injuries as they may prevent
- BASED on out-dated research on safety
There is also NO safety standard for OPDs.
The Federal government must be told to look at the new ACCC recommendation when it is delivered to ensure
- Australia is Not out of step with real-world scientific evidence on the best protection for quad bike riders
- Australia is Not out of step with best practice safety for quad bikes in North American markets
- Australia is Not likely to see as many rider injuries with OPDs as they may prevent
- Australia does Not Breach the quadbikes’ design standards of the global quad bikes manufacturers in USA, Canada and Japan
- Australia is not delivering false safety advice to farmers and other quadbike riders