New recommendations are aimed at preventing deaths and injuries on ATVs

SOME key recommendations surrounding the safety of quad bikes or all terrain vehicles (ATVs) could prevent accident fatalities by 42 per cent.

Twp of the key pieces of advice was to mandate the use of helmets and to prevent children younger than 16 from using ATVs. 

It’s an issue that the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) is taking seriously. And details from coroners and members of the rural and regional sector have helped to paint a picture of how injuries and deaths can be prevented.

FCAI ATV manager Mark Collins told The Rural that the use of helmets was something that should be mandated. He acknowledged that in corporate and business environments this was being done under a work safety proviso but family farms needed to embrace the concept too. Meanwhile, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission concluded a consultation phase into ATVs  on May 4 and outcomes are anticipated to be unveiled in June. 

During this time the assistant minister to the treasurer Michael Sukkar will provide updated safety rules that affect quad bikes. 

The FCAI has evidence that safety measures, such as making helmets obligatory, keeping children off adult-sized quad bikes and not carrying passengers or loads on single-seat quad bikes, will cut deaths by more than 50 per cent. Mr Collins said current industry evidence suggested that only 20 per cent of people in Australia were using helmets. 

“We know this (wearing a helmet) can improve injuries by 64 per cent and we can reduce fatality outcomes by 42 per cent,” he said. 

Despite the research the culture of Australian farming and the warm conditions often meant that helmets were not popular.

However, Mr Collins said work had been done to design and develop helmets that were suitable for the rural environment.

He said there were light-weight well ventilated helmets.

“There is no reason not to wear one,” he said. ​

FCAI RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Mandating helmets for all ATV riders
  • Improving and mandating rider training
  • Banning children under 16 years of age from riding adult-size ATVs
  • Banning passengers from riding on single seat ATVs

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