Farmer calls out government for ‘overstepping’ ATV rules
ONE Southern Downs farmer believes new safety regulations on quad bikes could be a well intentioned “overstep” on manufacturers.
Late last month, Honda announced it would no longer sell ATVS in Australia, because it was not feasible complying with “disappointing” new requirements.
The brand joined the ranks of Yamaha, Suzuki and Polaris, who similarly agreed to discontinue Australian sales.
As of October 2021, new quad bikes will have to meet minimum stability requirements and have rollover protection devices fitted.
Elbow Valley producer Andrew O’Dea said it would be a shame to see companies leave Australia due to the federal government move.
“I think it’s probably an overstep in terms of regulation — the better approach would be in terms of training rather than legislating companies to make them a specific way,” he said,
“Companies already recommend people wear helmets, they are courses out there. There’s enough safety information out there to take on.”
While Mr O’Dea let his two children use quad bikes on his property, he acknowledged the grave responsibility of using the vehicle.
“They’re a dangerous machine if you don’t know what you’re doing, especially with slopes and kids,” he said.
“A lot of people assume you won’t be hurt but you need to be very careful when you ride them. I trained my kids and supervise them a lot.
“But if people just jump on them, they’re bound to have a lot of accidents.”
There have been at least 128 fatalities from ATV accidents nationwide since 2011.
It comes as reports of panic buying spread across the nation.
The spike in sales had Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Mick Keogh rushing to reassure farmers.
“We’ve certainly been contacted by a number of manufacturers who are imminently going to release quad bike models that they claim are already compliant,” he said.
“They were part of the consultation process all the way through and we’ve had continuing dialogue with them.
“We still have not been able to gain a clear understanding why they believe the standard that is being introduced progressively and will come into full effect in October 2021 means they can no longer comply in Australia.”