Notwithstanding the fact that commercial interests are involved, surely Australia has the capacity to do quickly what needs to be done to reduce the toll of death and injury from quad bikes.
Because of its inherently ‘fixable’ nature, the matter of quad bike safety was one of the National Rural Health Alliance’s top priorities for their delegations to Parliament House last month. Almost all of the Parliamentarians with whom the Alliance met agreed that the issue was one that could and should be fixed as soon as possible.
The Alliance strongly supports the Mt Isa Statement on Quad Bike Safety dated 3 August 2012. It calls for the Federal Government to mandate an Australian crush protection device design standard for roll over protection on all quad bikes, and for manufacturers to comply with safety design specifications.
Quad bikes are now the largest single cause of fatalities on Australian farms; 160 people have died in quad bike accidents since 2001. Last weekend's fatality in northern Victoria was the tenth in Australia this year.
It is to be hoped that the support of the NRHA – the peak non-government organisation for rural and remote health – as well as of the ACTU and others, will encourage governments and other bodies to collaborate to make the necessary changes.
Gordon Gregory, Executive Director 02 6285 4660