Quad bike safety laws ‘couldn’t come quick enough’
THE tragic death of a prominent Far North cattleman killed in a quad bike accident on the weekend was the 17th this year, more than double the 2019 tally, as pressure mounts on the introduction of mandatory roll bars on four wheelers.
The Atherton Tablelands is still in shock following the loss of Chris Greenwood, a North Queensland Saleyards chairman being remembered as a pillar of the agriculture community.
The fatal accident was the 153rd on a quad bike in Australia since 2011, including 23 children, and RACQ spokesman Lauren Ritchie said compulsory roll bar measures set to be enforced from October 2021 couldn't come quick enough.
"They are very high numbers," she said.
"These vehicles are very dangerous if they are not ridden correctly and at high speeds they have a tendency to roll over very easily.
"The ACCC has been pushing hard to get roll bars mandatory when manufacturing quad bikes and that's going to go a long way to improving safety."
It comes after last month's decision from the Federal Government to impose mandatory safety standard on all imported second hand quad bikes sold in Australia.
Some of the regulations include testing for lateral static stability, having to display the angle at which the quad bike tips onto two wheels on a hang tag at the point of sale, and a roll over warning label on the quad bike.
Australian CCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said it was a significant step in improving the safety of quad bikes in Australia, and addressing the extremely concerning rate of injuries and fatalities caused by quad bike accidents.
All new quad bikes will need to be fitted with a roll-over bar to stop people from being crushed if their bike is overturned by 2021.
"Consumers will now be able to have confidence that quad bikes they buy will meet a certain level of quality and safety," he said.
Mareeba Shire Council deputy mayor Kevin Davies said the region was still coming to grips with the death of Mr Greenwood, who he called "a big farming figure" on the Tablelands.
He said it was an untimely reminder for the need to be vigilant and safety conscious on ATVs, but stressed almost all farmers were.
Including Mr Greenwood.
"It's just a freakish accident," Mr Davies said
"And it only takes that one time and it's the same in any workplace or at your home.
"You just never know when your time is up. I'm lost for words."
Mr Davies said the accident was being felt hard.
"It's just a tragedy, and being so close to Christmas, I just really feel for the family," he said.
Originally published as Horrific toll: Quad bike safety laws 'couldn't come quick enough'