Rollover devices on quads no silver bullet: FCAI

Rollover devices won't solve quad bike accident rates says FCAI

Machinery
DRIVE RESPONSIBLY: Manufacturers and importers of all-terrain vehicles say quad bike safety hinges heavily on the behaviour of riders.

DRIVE RESPONSIBLY: Manufacturers and importers of all-terrain vehicles say quad bike safety hinges heavily on the behaviour of riders.

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A CPD, also referred to as an operator protective device, is an engineered attachment fitted to a quad bike.

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The peak body representing manufacturers and importers of quad bikes to Australia believes mandating crush protection devices on quad bikes is not the silver bullet in preventing death or injury.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is the peak representative organisation for companies who distribute new passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in Australia.

A CPD is also referred to as an operator protective device and is an engineered attachment fitted to a quad bike. It is designed to help protect riders from crush related injuries in the event of a roll over.

"Evidence suggests in some circumstances CPDs do prevent injuries, other times they create more injuries and that's not a satisfactory outcome we should address the fundamental problem and that is the way in which humans behave around this machine," FCAI CEO Tony Weber said.

In October 2019, the Federal Government made the decision to improve the safety of quad bikes by introducing a new safety standard for minimum stability requirements and the fitting of a rollover protection device.

Mr Weber said to just focus on an "engineering solution" would not solve the issue when it came to quad bike related deaths and injuries.

"The science on CPDs is not there. We need a solution that we know works, not one we think may work or work in certain circumstances," he said.

"Inevitably it (a solution) will not be one single approach, it needs to be a multi-pronged approach and fundamentally to that is behavioural change rather than trying to find a magic bullet and we don't believe an CPD is a magic bullet."

Following the government's new standard requirements, manufacturers Honda, Polaris and Yamaha announced they would stop selling quad bikes in Australia from October next year.

In an article published by ACM on June 1, 2020, Australian Competition & Consumer Commission deputy chair Mick Keogh said the new standard requiring operator or roll-over protection devices be fitted to quad bikes would save lives.

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In response to the ongoing deaths and injuries associated with quad bikes, the ACCC was asked in 2017 by state and federal ministers to conduct an inquiry into their safety.

After a two year investigation the ACCC Quad Bike Taskforce released a draft mandatory standard for consultation with industry.

After responses were considered, the ACCC provided a report recommending the adoption of a mandatory safety standard for all new quad bikes sold in Australia.

Mr Keogh said there was no reason bikes could not be imported into Australia and fitted to standard.

"Israel have had the requirement for roll-over protection in place for quite some time," he said.

"The dealers went straight to the manufacturer and did what they call parallel imports.

"I feel for the dealers but our job was to improve product safety and save lives."

However the the chief operating officer of Yamaha has said while Israel did mandate the fitment of CPDs, they became more flexible in 2013.

Brad Ryan, COO of Yamaha, said the company does not sell ATVs with OPDs anywhere in the world including Israel.

"In addition, to our knowledge Yamaha products are not parallel imported into Israel and fitted with OPDs," Mr Ryan said.

"Yamaha is, as we speak, licensed to sell utility ATVs without OPDs in Israel, and has been doing so since 2014.

"I think once Israel realised their OPD rules were too restrictive they re-negotiated the licensing rules.

"So the Israel thing is misinformation. I don't know where it came from, but rumour has it the information was given to the ACCC by an OPD manufacturer, and presumably the ACCC simply didn't check."

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The story Rollover devices on quads no silver bullet: FCAI first appeared on Western Magazine.

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