First stage quad bike safety measures now mandatory

12 October 2020

All new and imported second hand quad bikes sold in Australia must now meet the first stage of the government’s mandatory safety standard after it came into effect on 11 October. 

As of yesterday, all new and imported second hand quad bikes sold in Australia must be tested for lateral static stability, display the angle at which the quad bike tips onto two wheels on a hang tag at the point of sale, and carry a roll over warning label on the quad bike. The owner’s manual must also include roll over safety information.

Additionally, the quad bikes must be fitted with a spark arrester that conforms to the Australian or United States standard, and meet certain requirements of the United States or European quad bike safety standards. These relate to equipment such as brakes, clutch, throttle, tyres, drive train, handlebars and foot wells, maximum speed capabilities and the provision of safety information through warning labels and hang tags.

“This first stage of the standard is a significant step in improving the safety of quad bikes in Australia, and addressing the extremely concerning rate of injuries and fatalities caused by quad bike accidents,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

“Consumers will now be able to have confidence that quad bikes they buy will meet a certain level of quality and safety.”

Safework Australia data shows 152 people have died from incidents involving quad bikes since 2011, including 23 children. It is estimated that hundreds of people also present to hospital emergency departments each year as a result of quad bike related injuries.

There have already been 16 fatalities this year, double last year’s toll.

Most quad bike accidents involve a vehicle rollover, which can result in victims dying from injuries associated with being crushed by the quad bike.

“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,” Mr Keogh said.

Additional requirements for new and second hand imported general use quad bikes will become mandatory in one year’s time, which include the fitting or integration of operator protection devices and minimum stability requirements.

“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.”

The ACCC is working with state and territory Australian Consumer Law regulators to conduct surveillance activities to ensure suppliers are complying with the standard. Non-compliance may attract 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 requirements of the standard.

More information for consumers and businesses or suppliers is available on the Product Safety Australia website.

Notes to editors:

In October 2019, the Federal Government accepted the ACCC’s recommendation to introduce a new mandatory safety standard for quad bikes.

The safety standard has two stages.

Under stage 1, which came into effect on 11 October 2020, all new quad bikes and imported second-hand quad bikes must now:

  • meet the requirements within sections 4 to 8 of the US quad bike Standard, ANSI/SVIA 1-2017 or sections 5 to 7 of the EN 15997:2011 Standard, and have a spark arrester installed that conforms to AS 1019-2000 or US 5100-d Standards
  • 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
  • have a durable label affixed, visible and legible when the quad bike is in operation, alerting the operator to the risk of rollover, and must include rollover safety information in the owner’s manual.

Stage 2, which requires the fitting of operator protection devices and minimum stability requirements for new and second hand imported general use quad bikes, will become mandatory in one year’s time.

A supplier may be found guilty of a criminal offence if they fail to comply with a mandatory safety or information standard. The maximum fine is $500 000 for individuals and for a body corporate, the greater of:

  • $10 000 000
  • three times the value of the benefit received, or
  • 10% of annual turnover in the preceding 12 months, if a court cannot determine the benefit obtained from the offence.

Civil penalties for the same amounts also apply.

Release number: 
212/20
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