Government - New Quad Rules Irk Honda
The Federal Government announced new safety rules requiring quad bikes be equipped with roll bars to protect occupants from injury should the vehicle flip over.
"Quad bikes are the leading cause of fatalities in Australia of all consumer products that aren't regulated," said Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar in a statement. "This safety standard aims to address the high risk of rollovers, which is especially important for many of our farmers and their families who use these vehicles daily," he continued.
The National Farmers' Federation is standing with the government on the issue: "Today's result is nothing short of life-saving," said the group's chief executive Tony Mahar. Also backing roll bars are the Australian Medical Association, Royal College of Surgeons, Rural Doctors Association of Australia, Royal Flying Doctor Service, and National Rural Health Alliance.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Competition (ACCC) reports that 60 percent of quad bike deaths were caused by rollovers.
"Research indicates that roughly 50 percent of these operators would have survived the crash had they not been crushed or pinned by the quad bike," said ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh.
In a year, quad bikes sold in Oz would have to conform to US and EU safety standards, and the year after that must be equipped with roll bars. That requirement has angered the giant Japanese motor vehicle manufacturer Honda, which disagrees with roll bar research.
"Honda's position has always been to put farmer safety first. The final standard released this morning fundamentally fails," said Honda Australia's managing director of motorcycle and power equipment Robert Toscano. "As it looks, in two years' time we will be forced to cease supply of quad bikes in Australia.
Yamaha has also threatened to stop selling quads.