The National Farmers' Federation (NFF) is renewing calls for a five-star rating system for quad bikes after a horrifying week for Australian farmers with the loss of two lives and two other people being critically injured as a result of quad bike incidents.
In 2015, quad bikes were the leading cause of death on Australian farms. Since then, 25 people, including children, have died while riding quad bikes with a further 140 people seriously injured in quad bike incidents.
“The case for safer quad bike design has never been clearer," NFF President Fiona Simson said.
"Successive coronial inquests have confirmed the need for action.
Millions of dollars have been spent on research and clear recommendations have been made - but still we see no action."
“The time for talking past over – Australian farmers need action now."
Ms Simson said all farm equipment sold in Australia must be safe – with accurate, balanced information provided at point of sale.
"Consumers need to be able to make informed choices about what they are buying, including the risks associated with riding quad bikes and steps they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones."
This means a five star rating system that allows consumers to decide whether a quad bike is the right choice for them, given the risks.
"It also means encouraging new helmets on the market that are fit for purpose and meet Australian standards.
Ms Simson said a well-designed star rating system would help consumers make safer, more informed choices when purchasing farm vehicles.
"It will also encourage manufacturers to develop safer, more stable quad bikes for the Australian market – with improved stability, dynamic handling and rollover protection."
Ms Simson said enough was enough.
"We can’t keep delaying action on quad bike safety.
"We owe it our rural and regional communities to create safer environments so that they can continue to grow our regions and play their part in a stronger national economy,” Ms Simson.