Fatalities prompt quad bike investigation

Quad bikes are responsible for thousands of injuries and over 100 fatalities, prompting the government to investigate safety improvements for the vehicles. The task force is set to release its findings in mid 2018.

Do you have an opinion on quad bikes? Please share your thoughts below.


… surely ROPS and restraints would be a big start … no it’s not pretty, but …


Education - although it might be wasted on some. The perception in our family is that quads are just safer motorbikes, therefore suitable for kids. Fathers regard the seat belts, helmets & ROPS as sissy. G’dau hopped in our ute to go down the back paddock - wouldn’t put seat belt on, told us to take ours off, you’re on your own property, you don’t need that sh!t - 10yr old echoing her father. I insisted as we had steep creek crossings and wash-outs.
Dad put 12 & 8yr olds on a quad with an 8yr old friend sitting on the back - clearly labelled You Must Be 16 To Drive, Two Only - they rolled, minor injuries and the oldest now frightened of any risk. 8yr old wouldn’t get back on so Dad told her to Man Up and get on or else. Grand-dad agrees with sons.
I won’t have quads on our property, he’s been smashed up in two major motorcycle accidents, another will finish his quality of life. I disagree with notions of that kids need to have prangs to learn or be a Man.

Need to get it through to adults that these are NOT TOYS, even for big boys.


Noted that the submission process to the ACCC closed in May and the report is still to come second half of 2018.

There has been previously much public commentary and grumbling from the supplier and retail industry. How the report is presented and responded to will be a telling test of the ACCC and ministers responsible?

As a novice occasional user for practical needs quads can be very challenging. It is notable that others I know well who are far more adept and experienced and wiser than I have between them an assortment of injuries arising from the ‘safe use’ of quads. At least a quad cannot bite, kick or refuse a jump? It can only fail to rise to the expectations of the user trying to immitate some kid on a prepared aerial course.


An article regarding the proposal by the ACCC to make rollover protection mandatory on quad bikes.

Whilst Honda and Yamaha try to dismiss the proposal and even threaten to quit the Australian market, the statistics stated by the ACCC that there has not been a fatality involving some 10,000 quad bikes that have been retrofitted with rollover protection appears to be very hard to dismiss.

If it was left up to the manufacturers, they would undoubtedly still be selling their even more dangerous three wheel offroad bikes if the Government had not banned them.

Obviously just another case of profit over consumers lives.



There is already a topic by @BrendanMays on Quad Bike safety

Fatalities prompt quad bike investigation

Is the first challenge here whether in Australia we let manufacturers/commercial interests determine our future or do we trust our appointed representative organisations?

If it is ok for the ACCC to be rolled on this one, then should we even contest Huawei delivering 5G?

As a community whether we agree with the decisions of our representative organisations or not, we need to back our organisations. EG CSIRO, ACCC, etc. and ensure they have the resources and legislative support necessary to deliver reliable and competently. The last thing they need is a lack of consumer confidence or to be used as pawns between politics and enterprise? :rage:

One half of me says on quad bikes if manufacturers believe they know better, let them also provide the training, insurance and medical cover for the users as a condition of every sale they make. Let that be the life long contract between each user and the manufacturer, and remove the cost from the community purse?

It still does not resolve the social consequences, but then let the injured and families sue the manufacturers when it all goes wrong! Threatening to walk away from the market is like a dummy spit by a spoilt two year old! Whether roll over protection is a good solution, when use of a quad bike goes wrong, there are minimal protections. When used in a workplace, eg farm the Workplace legislation in each state is clear on duties or responsibilities. For recreational users, perhaps they are no longer safe, without significant changes to how and when they are used?

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It is reminiscent of the introduction of mandatory rollover protection for tractors and similar machinery in Qld.

If I recall correctly, there was some opposition to it, but I would be very interested to read the results of the before and after outcomes.

And I would expect that there would be a vastly greater possibility of a quad bike rolling over than a farm tractor based on terrain, speed, conditions and operator actions.

And up here in the Deep North of Qld, I see numerous 4WD utes with very substanial polished alloy rollover bar installations which probably cost almost as much as some of these quad bikes.

For years, I have commented to my wife when we have driven on the side street past the local Yamaha dealer that I cannot belive the number of quad bikes they have on display outside their showroom, and often there is another delivery truck of them parked outside.

If these grubs want to try to hold Australia to ransom, then we are better off with out them.


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I wonder if it is the manufacturer driving the roll over bars or the consumers. It is possible that if they have two quads of the same model side by side for sale, one with roll over bars and the over without, many would continue to buy the one without because:

  • it was slightly cheaper and most people think a rollover it won’t happen to them;
  • the rollover bars limit the use of the quad…say for a farmer who wants to carry something large or need to be able to swing something around the back of the quad;
  • helmets and other protection is also needed in addition to the rollover bars…how many farmers/property owners would baulk wearing a full heat helmet on a 40oC day?
    there are possibly other reasons as well.

The only way to ensure that roll over bars are installed is to mandate them and to ensure that they are very difficult to remove.

The bikes should also be sold with the additional personal protection equipment as well.


You had me until that. ‘We’ through government do not care about any of that for bicycle riders regardless of how or where they ride. It is for safety! Why should farmers be special if it came to that requirement for their safety? (/argumentative font)


Neither. It is the ACCC and who ever they chose to provide supporting advice. This includes the recommendations of numerous Court Coroners and their enquiries as evidence.

It’s no different in principle to the introduction of seat belts, or as @PhilT suggested bicycle helmets, or as @Fred123 suggested roll over protection on tractors, or overhead protection on other bits of machinery. They all came into being by direction, and often contrary to the screams of denial from manufacturers and operators/owners.

It might help to consider the implications separately for the two very different user groups.

One Group use quads as part of doing a job. For this group the owners, operators, manufacturers, suppliers, importers, etc could choose to find the most appropriate way forward together with the respective state Work Health Safety Departments. They have the ability to develop and implement their own recognised state or national recommended practices and guides. Standards Australia might also be a participant. This is however much more than a consumer level discussion. Hopefully it is a demonstration that there are tools and legal means available to manage the hazards quads present.

The other group enjoy the use of a quad recreationally. Currently use recreationally is unrestricted when on private property. Regulation generally prevents use anywhere else. Quads effectively bypass regulation typically encountered with other high risk past times. Recreational quad users are currently unregulated.

While often the Choice Community lament the lack of action by the ACCC in the example here concerning quad bike rollover protection it would seem unusual if the community is against the ACCC acting.

From the nature of the serious incidents and deaths involving quads there are many more actions suggested other than just rollover protection. :thinking:


Anecdotally it seems fairly evident that most people who use quads do so without any personal protection. The riding I’ve done over the years was with people who wore normal clothes and no helmet. I’d never consider riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet (and boots, kevlar/padded pants, jacket, armoured gloves, helmet), but oddly it has never seemed as important on a quad and the activities I’ve undertaken with quads are made a little trickier if one was to wear protective items.

ROPS would be a great improvement in safety in my opinion, but the issue then might come down to function - it’s not uncommon to stand while riding, especially when trying to get a better view of things - this makes restraint systems like belts and harnesses more tricky and the height of the ROPS greater which could interfere with obstables - this wasn’t so much an issue on tractors. I can imagine many users being intolerant of this. While primary producers might still retain such systems if mandated due to OH&S requirements, recreational users seem likely to be less inspired.

The question of legislative reach into personal space is an interesting one - on private property, how much freedom to do ‘dangerous stuff’ do we have and should we have?


It’s a great wide ranging question. :sunglasses:
Enthusiasm plus inexperience equals stupidity?

Not even permitted ‘tomthumbs’ depending on whether you live in a state? :flushed:

A go kart on a prepared track, with harness, helmet and progressive levels of training leading to faster karts results in lots of fun and low but not zero risk.

A jacked up kart (aka quad) that is top heavy, with torque steer, in an uncontrolled environment, inexperienced riders with incomplete skills to assess the hazards and no recognised competency standards. What could possibly go wrong? It might need more than a helmet and rollbar?

At least the kelpie on the back always knew when to jump off as markm rode off into the sunset, millimetres from barbed wire entanglement. :wink:


It’s been said that wisdom is born of our mistakes, and our mistakes born of our lack of wisdom - there’s many variations attributed to dozens of people so it’s a common theme if a little simplistic and generalised.

It’s a very wide ranging question, potentially a topic in itself. Flying model planes or drones in your back yard, doing repairs to things, electrical, plumbing, gas, using weapons, traps, keeping animals, using machines, vehicles, fire, loud music, digging holes/wells, transmitting radio signals, keeping fuel stored, running a business, collecting rainwater … obviously some activities/actions have a significant potential for affecting others and one can well understand the need for some boundaries and constraints (laws), but it’s interesting to consider in a broad sense…

It’s not uncommon where I am to see people hooning around on quads and bikes, unregistered and of course uninsured - I’ve seen a neighbour repeatedly go up and down our residential street on back wheels of his quad, no helmet, shorts, t-shirt and thongs for some time - tuning it I guess :slight_smile: Did I report it? no - different towns have different ‘cultures’ and especially this time of year bikes and quads are all the rage and small town one needs some level of ‘understanding’ …

The comparison of quad vs (motor)bike is an interesting one - when riding a bike its arguably easier to lose it, the thing can certainly land on the rider, and they can weigh easily into the same range as quads, more if one considers the big road tractors. Both my road and dual sport bikes tip the scales wet at over 250 Kg … There’s probably more chance of separating from a bike in an ‘off’, which is a good thing in most cases. So it seems that people accept that bikes are plain dangerous especially when used enthusiastically, so having ROPS and seat belts and pretty much anything else is just incredibly unlikely to be workable and a waste of time - just run with the ATGATT theory and hope for the best in the event of the worst. But it seems way more likely that something can be done with quads that is workable and effective - so why not do it? Personally I would probably opt for a safer quad with some form of ROPS if I were buying new.

Interestingly the following site includes the following information:

Crush protection devices and rollover protective structures

A crush protection device is mounted on a quad bike to minimise the risk of someone being crushed between the vehicle and the ground if the bike rolls over. It does not enclose the rider.

A rollover protective structure encloses the operator and is used in conjunction with driver/passenger restraints, usually seat belts. ROPS are not suitable for single operator quad bikes but are commonly used on side-by-side vehicles that can sometimes be referred to as two-seater quad bikes


I sense a hair being cleaved into multiple strands there but I get in part what they are saying. To me, protection from a rollover is protection from a rollover - we now seem to have the sub category CPD or Crush Protection Device, which is a device to protect you from being crushed during a rollover, as I read it, ahem … I’m not sure the issue needs to be ‘complexified’ with ‘wordbling’ :wink:

It seems there are a few aftermarket ‘solutions’ and some authorities offering rebates for purchase, like this one in Victoria from a few years back:


I’m not entirely sure if the rider in the picture is fully appreciating the cuddle their quad bike is giving them but it is an interesting concept and the video looks promising to say the least:

I have no connection with this company but I do think the dog is cool but should be also wearing an approved canine helmet (if there is not such a thing now, just wait a while) …

Here’s another video:

To me its obvious advertising/endorsement, but so be it, also seems fairly relevant to the topic.

I’d suggest if you were doing 50 Km/H when losing it, this won’t be much help, but driving/riding/whatever ‘too fast for the conditions’ is often likely to end worse when the bad stuff happens.

They mention 1500$ in the video - that’s upwards of 10% of the cost of a new quad, and it’s ‘reusable’ in the sense you can unbolt it and reattach to the next quad. I’d probably spring for one or something similar after more than the 10 minutes of research I put into this post …

I’m sure there are many other ‘solutions’ - this was just a quick search …


Something is actually happening regarding rollover prorection on quad bikes.

Pity it is still 2 years away.

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Honda has another dummy spit over the quad bike rollover protection legislation.

I don’t believe that there should be a 2 year time frame to implement it, and as the ACCC states, there are already 15,000 bikes with protection and not one fatality has occured.

Could someone kindly show Honda the door?


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More quad bike fatalities.

Interesting, an article I read last week had a photo of a farmer on his Yamaha quad bike with a large roll-over protection bar on the rear.

The farmer is obviously was smarter than Yamaha.

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15 September 2020

Operator protection devices, or roll bars, on quad bikes may significantly reduce the number of times a rider is injured or killed by the quad bike when it rolls sideways in an accident, according to a new US Government study.

The study, which was commissioned by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), used various quad bike models and a test dummy to test the effectiveness of operator protection devices (OPDs) in rollover accidents at low or moderate speed. [etc etc etc]

Wording of the opening paragraph aside, this is not exactly rocket science but it is a step in the right direction to have more supporting research - the reaction of suppliers of quad bikes is as puerile as it is superficial … perhaps if more countries adopt safety measure requirements the industry will ‘come around’ to this new and groundbreaking idea of safety …


Another initiative given the diverse range of users might mandating a recognised minimum training system for all riders.

Most of us accept needing a PADI certificate as a minimum for safe use of SCUBA in the water, approved training course and restrictions for firearms, etc. How many of us would saddle a horse or a camel for the first time and ride off into the sunset in full control? A dull roar, with reality most have started with a riding school or experienced instruction. Camels may be an exception!

When it all goes wrong, with any recreational activity, the community often meets the cost of medical, hospital, rehab, and of the NDIS as a final recourse. There are many high risk sports with similar possible worse outcomes. Should participants be required to not only be registered, trained but also insured to reflect the higher risks of their chosen interests? Worker Cover schemes provide a template. They have in place collection of premiums and business registration of those using Quads etc for farm or employment?

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An update on quad bike safety measures.

This excerpt says it all.

“Sixty per cent of fatalities occur when drivers are crushed underneath the bikes, according to the ACCC, but there has not been a single fatality from a bike fitted with a roll bar.”



An article which clearly illustrates the value of roll over protection systems.