OPDs cause as many serious injuries as they prevent

Melbourne and Canberra based economics and public policy consultancy Pegasus Economics has found the Quad Bike Workplace Safety Survey Report by the UNSW TARS Research Centre to be “seriously wanting”.

It found that there were “serious limitations” in relation to the statistical techniques employed by the TARS Group researchers which “renders their study and findings as largely meaningless”.

The TARS report was utilised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to recommend to the Federal government the fitting of operator protection devices (OPDs) to quad bikes to help prevent deaths and serious injuries.

Pegasus Economics said that the Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI) review of the TARS report and its (DRI) own research and report was “thorough and transparent in terms of its analysis and provides a logical and coherent line of reasoning in arriving at its conclusions”. It found that the DRI report was “a highly credible study”.

Pegasus Economics said that the disclaimers provided by the TARS Research Centre are “nowhere near adequate enough to reflect the overall poor quality of statistical analysis that it undertook”.

DRI has highlighted that the initial ACCC recommendation to the Federal government for the fitting of OPDs to quad bikes was putting riders at risk of death or serious injury. The then Assistant Treasurer,

Stuart Robert, called for further public and industry consultation by the ACCC by 10 June their initial recommendation. Their report is to be furnished to government in the near future.

DRI Vice President and Technical Director, Scott Kebschull, welcomed the Pegasus findings. He has urged Federal and State governments and WorkSafe in NSW and Victoria not to recommend the fitting of OPDs, in particular the Quad Bar, because there was no proven safety benefit for riders, and they continued to be put at risk of serious injury or death.

The call was based on international positions, research conducted by DRI on 110 overturn events based on UK and US real-world accident scenarios, and the finding of three recent Australian coronial inquests. The research also took into account the TARS report and found that OPDs cause as many serious injuries as they prevent.

Background: The No to OPDs – Ban the Bar group is made up of a number of like-minded farmers and industry groups that are encouraging quad bike rides and others to call on the Federal and State government not to introduction OPDs. They are supporting mandatory regulations on the wearing of safety helmets and rider education and no kids or passengers on inappropriate machines.

DRI is one of the world leading authorities on vehicle safety. Its clients include vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, research organizations, and the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency in the US Department of the Interior. BLM engaged DRI in developing and revising its policies regarding the use of ATVs and SSVs in safe vehicle operations. DRI further performs Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 126 tests (Electronic Stability Control) for NHTSA.