Five star rating system closer after meeting

CONSUMER affairs ministers from Australia and New Zealand met in Melbourne last week agreeing to speed up the set “regulatory impact assessment processes” needed to introduce a five star rating system for quad bikes.
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NFF President Fiona Simson.

 

Kristy Moroney

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) welcomed the commitment from the ministers involved to take decisive action towards the instatement of a safety rating and associated safety standards for quad bikes.

NFF President Fiona Simson said quad bikes represented significant risk to farmers, farming families, farm workers and farm visitors.

“Quad bike incidents are the leading cause of accidental death on Australian farms,” Ms Simson said.

“Tragically, both adults and children are all too often killed or seriously injured from quad bikes,” she said.

 “The NFF supports sensible measures to improve quad bike safety and to reduce the number of fatalities caused by the popular piece of farm equipment.”

Tasmanian Coroner Simon Cooper called for legislative reforms in August regarding quad bike safety and for the development of “a star rating system.”

New Zealand Coroner Brigitte Windley also came to a similar conclusion, recommending the New Zealand Government should “set, implement and enforce” quad bike safety standards and consider “a national five-star safety rating system for quad bikes".

Ms Simson said while a five-star safety system may be complex to develop, the NFF believed it would remind farmers that safety must be a key factor in their quad bike purchasing decisions.

“We want consumers to make informed choices and to be aware of the relative risk each vehicle poses,” Ms Simson said.

“It would also provide manufacturers with a commercial reason to build safety into their product,” she said.

Ms Simson said it was now important to get the support of manufacturers.

“Until now, despite the self-evident merits of safety rating systems, there has been significant push back from quad bike manufacturers.”

“In some instances, manufacturers are promoting specious ‘five star safe user guides’ which are designed to confuse the consumer into thinking safety is just a matter of behaviour rather than scientific evidence and design."

Ms Simson said the NFF looked forward to continuing to work with governments and manufacturers to see a quad bike five-star safety rating become a reality.”