The Mount Isa Statement on quad bike safety, released today, outlines a number of decisions that could be made immediately to reduce deaths and injury caused by quad bikes in rural and remote areas.
The Statement was produced by farm health and safety experts from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Quad bikes are the leading cause of death in Australian agriculture and a significant contributor to injuries, and without urgent action the number of deaths and injuries related to quad bikes will increase as more are sold.
Fitting a crush protection device (CPD) could reduce the number of quad bike deaths by up to 40 per cent and the science underpinning manufacturers’ decision to oppose CPDs has been demonstrated to be invalid. For twenty years manufacturers have had information about the risks posed by quad bikes and have done very little.
Australia has had outstanding success in reducing tractor deaths through rollover frames.
It is therefore with confidence and certainty that the Mount Isa Statement proposes that crush protection devices (CPDs) be mandated for all quad bikes, with a technical standard for CPDs having been developed. New sales of child size quad bikes should be stopped and children under the age of 16 should not be allowed to ride quad bikes of any size.
The purchase cost of quad bikes should include appropriate safety equipment, and all existing quad bikes should be fitted with an approved CPD. New quad bikes must be fitted with an approved crush protection device by the manufacturer or at point of sale.
Contributors to the Mount Isa Statement are the Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, the World Safety Organisation Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, Farmsafe Australia and James Cook University.