Tom Goudkamp OAM welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of new quad bike safety measures announced by Assistant Treasurer the Hon Michael Sukkar on 10 October 2019.
The new Federal safety standard has three elements:
- Improved information for potential purchasers (within a year all new bikes sold will need to have stickers affixed with information about the degree of slope required for the vehicle to start to overturn);
- Enhanced quad bike stability (within two years, all quad bikes will need to conform with minimum standards for stability on slopes); and
- Rollover protection to reduce injuries and deaths (all quad bikes will have to have an operator protection device or rollover bar, to reduce the risk of serious crush injuries and deaths in the event of a rollover).
Quad bikes (essentially a motor bike with four wheels designed for off road use) are a popular vehicle for farmers because of their manoeuvrability and perceived stability (when compared to trail or motorbikes). However quad bikes require weight shifting when negotiating corners and judgment when heading up or down slopes. While you do not need a driver’s licence to use a quad bike, and therefore the children of farmers can drive them, it has been suggested that young persons under the age of 16 do not have the requisite skills to safely use a quad bike.
Quad bike farm accidents will not always make the road toll statistics because most accidents usually occur on the farm or on a work site and not on a road. However, as some quad bike accidents happen on work sites, Safe Work Australia keeps records.
According to that agency (see https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/quad-bikes), there have been 128 fatal quad bike accidents in Australia between 2011 and 2018. Fourteen of these tragic accidents involved children under the age of 11. Seventy-eight occurred on farms and over half were caused by rollovers, trapping the driver.
The cost of retro-fitting rollover protection is about $600 – $700. NSW SafeWork NSW (and some other state agencies) have been offering rebates of up to $1,000 to help farmers with this and other measures to reduce the risk of fatalities and serious injuries involving their quad bikes.
Stacks Goudkamp is well aware of the impact of quad bike accidents on the injured person, their family and work colleagues. While we are happy to take instructions, we would prefer that quad bike accidents simply did not happen.
For that reason I congratulate the Federal Government on its new quad bike safety standards.
If you or anyone you know is injured has been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively make an online enquiry.
Written by Tom Goudkamp.