No helmet, no ride: stricter rules for quad bikes

NEW LAWS: Kyle Sowden swaps the farm hat for the helmet as new quad bike laws take effect.
NEW LAWS: Kyle Sowden swaps the farm hat for the helmet as new quad bike laws take effect.

NEW laws will affect all quad bike owners across the Southern Downs after they came into effect on Wednesday.

The new laws mean children under eight years old will no longer be allowed to be carried as passengers on quad bikes.

As well, quad bike and utility off-road operators and passengers will also be required to wear a motorcycle helmet from February 1, or face a $365 fine and the loss of three points from their licence.

There will be no exemptions from wearing a helmet and the new laws will be enforced by Queensland Police.

Top Two Motorcycles owner Peter Lippi said the new laws were for the best.

"The bikes we sell have had warning and safety stickers on them for years,” he said.

"The brands have always been proactive about helmet use and the age of operators. These laws are about enforcing that.

"I've read that at any point during the day there are over 30,000 quad bikes in use around the country.

"It makes sense the laws are in place to keep people safe.”

Mr Lippi said they gave an induction with every quad bike they sold.

"We run through the operation of the vehicle, safety guidelines and recommendations,” he said.

"Both the Yamaha and Honda quads don't allow passengers and we stress helmet usage, but the general consensus is that these laws are often ignored once the bikes are on private property.”

Shane's Bikes, Boats and Performance owner Shane Baker said safe usage came down to common sense.

"Most accidents occur due to operator error,” he said.

"These are heavy machines and if they're used unsafely, serious injuries and deaths is a possibility.”

More than 70 people have been killed on quad bikes in Queensland since 2001 - approximately 30% of all quad bike-related deaths in Australia.

Queensland also has the highest number of quad bike-related hospitalisations, with about 1500 between 2009-2013, as well as 3000 quad bike-related emergency department presentations and more

than 1000 ambulance attendances.

Topics:  quad bikes safety warwick business warwick community

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