ROLL BARS have been made mandatory on all new and imported second-hand quad bikes being sold, in a bid to ensure greater rider safety on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
As of September, there have been six quad bike fatalities in Australia during 2021. From October 11, it became illegal to sell a new or used quad bike without fitting a rollover protection device to reduce life threatening injuries.
ATVs will also require warning stickers informing the degree of slope at which they overturn. There are, however, no laws mandating that quad bikes already in the garage or the paddock must have roll bars fitted.
This is a big win for safety advocates, but a blow for dealers who face big fines for not complying with regulations. Many of which have argued that the new laws will not resolve safety issues since old equipment will continue to be used on farms, and reckless rider behaviour is largely to blame for the prevalence of ATV accidents.
Victorian Farmers Federation president, Emma Germano said quad bike rollovers were a leading cause of trauma and death on Victorian farms.
“Since 2011 sadly 150 people have died from quad bike accidents nationally, 23 of those were children,” she said.
2020 had the highest annual death toll, with 24 fatalities due to quad bike accidents. The biggest cause of death was crushing and asphyxiation when a quad bike rolled on top of someone. Most quad bikes weigh up to 350 kilograms.