The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons commends the announcement of new safety standards for quad bikes made by the Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon. Michael Sukkar.
The College particularly welcomes the requirements for quad bikes to be fitted with, or have integrated into the design, Operator Protection Device (rollbar), or meet minimum stability requirements, at the direction of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
RACS paediatric surgeon Professor Warwick Teague welcomed the announcement, however, he also expressed concerns about potential loss of life during the time it will take to implement the changes.
This announcement is a great first step and lives will be saved by these measures. It will take two years though, before these measures come into full force. Preventable life loss and serious injury will occur in that interval due to quad bike rollover incidents, Professor Teague said.
Protecting children from the inherent instability of adult sized quad bikes and achieving compliance with manufacturers warnings against the carriage of children, or operation of adult sized quad bikes by children will remain a significant challenge in the meantime. Kids on quad bikes are a toxic mix.
The decision to implement the new safety standards comes after the ACCC recommended the changes earlier this year in response to fatalities involving quad bikes, with 136 people having died in quad bike accidents over the past eight years, 60 per cent of which the ACCC attributed to rollovers.