Stage one of ACCC quad bike safety standards takes effect
In October 2019, the federal government accepted the ACCC’s recommendation to implement mandatory safety standards for quad bikes, in two stages. The first stage, which came into effect on 11 October 2020, states that all new quad bikes and imported second-hand quad bikes must now meet the requirements within sections 4–8 of the US quad bike Standard, ANSI/SVIA 1-2017, or sections 5–7 of the EN 15997:2011 Standard. Quad bikes must also have a spark arrester installed that conforms to AS 1019-2000 or US 5100-d Standards.
All new and imported second-hand quad bikes sold in Australia must be tested for lateral static stability using a tilt table test and display the angle at which they tip onto two wheels on a hang tag at the point of sale. A rollover warning label and durable label must also be affixed on the bike, to alert the operator to the risk of rollover, with rollover safety information in the owner’s manual. Quad bikes must also meet certain requirements of the United States or European quad bike safety standards, relating to equipment such as brakes, clutch, throttle, tyres, drive train, handlebars and foot wells, and maximum speed capabilities.
ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said the first stage of the standard is a significant step in improving the safety of quad bikes, addressing the concerning rate of injuries and fatalities caused by quad bike accidents. Safe Work Australia data reveals that 152 people have died from incidents involving quad bikes since 2011, including 23 children. There have been 16 fatalities in 2020 — double last year’s toll. It is also estimated that hundreds of people present to hospital emergency departments each year due to quad bike-related injuries. Most quad bike accidents involve a vehicle rollover, which can lead to victims dying from injuries associated with being crushed by the quad bike.
“Consumers will now be able to have confidence that quad bikes they buy will meet a certain level of quality and safety. We know rollovers are one of the greatest risks to quad bike riders. The new hang tags will allow riders to quickly compare the stability of similar quad bikes when they are shopping around, and the warning label will remind quad bike users of the risks while riding,” said Keogh.
The ACCC is working with state and territory Australian Consumer Law regulators to conduct surveillance activities to ensure compliance with the updated standard. Non-compliance could lead to fines and penalties. Consumers and businesses can make a complaint to the ACCC if they believe they have seen or have been sold a quad bike that does not comply with the standard.
The second stage of requirements for new and second-hand imported general-use quad bikes will become mandatory in one year’s time. Stage two requires the fitting of operator protection devices and minimum stability requirements. A supplier may be found guilty of a criminal offence if they fail to comply with a mandatory safety or information standard.
“Safe riding precautions remain crucial. Always wear helmets and the right safety gear, complete the necessary training, and never let children ride adult quad bikes,” said Keogh.
More information for consumers and businesses or suppliers is available on the Product Safety Australia website.
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