Australian Government Media Release: New quad bike standard to save lives

10 October 2019

The Australian Government is improving the safety of quad bikes with the introduction of a new safety standard to protect the community, Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar  announced on 10 October 2019.

The new standard will see improved safety information available to consumers, reduce the frequency of rollovers and provide increased protection to operators in the event of a rollover to reduce the risk of serious crush injuries and deaths.

Since 2011, on average 16 people a year are killed in a quad bike accident, and an estimated six people a day present to an emergency hospital department with at least two of these admitted with serious injuries.

"Quad bikes are the leading cause of fatalities in Australia of all consumer products that aren't regulated," Mr Sukkar said.

"This safety standard aims to address the high risk of rollovers, which is especially important for many of our farmers and their families who use these vehicles daily," Mr Sukkar added.

Within 12 months, all new quad bikes will be required to:

  • have a warning label alerting riders to the risk of roll over
  • meet US or European standards (performance of components like brakes, suspension, throttle and clutch)
  • test for stability and display the result on a hang tag attached to the bike at point of sale.

Within 24 months, all new general use model (utility) quad bikes will be required to:

  • be fitted with, or have integrated into the design an operator protection device (rollbar)
  • meet minimum stability requirements

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will also work alongside Standards Australia as industry develops their own specifications for the safety of rollbars.

The ACCC has undertaken extensive consultation including with farmers, consumer groups, retailers, manufacturers, health and medical experts. The majority of stakeholders who made submissions supported a new mandatory safety standard.

PSA webpage link to the standard

The webpage also includes checklists /guidance for dealers and manufacturers.

Mandatory standard: The Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 comes into effect on 11 October 2019.

The purpose of the standard is to prevent or reduce the risk of fatality or injury associated with the use of quad bikes. There have been at least 128 fatalities during 2011–18 and it is estimated that six people present to an emergency department each day, of which two are admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Around 15 per cent of deaths involve children.

The safety standard sets out the requirements for new quad bikes and imported second-hand quad bikes. It is intended to:

  • improve information for consumers (through a hang tag, warning for operators and additional information in the manual) from 11 October 2020
  • improve the design of quad bikes (through requiring quad bikes to meet certain requirements in the US or European Standard) from 11 October 2020
  • improve the design of general use quad bikes to reduce the likelihood of a rollover incident occurring (through stability requirements) and to mitigate the harm if a rollover does occur (through operator protection devices) from 11 October 2021.

"Importantly, these requirements will put the onus on foreign manufacturers to supply safer quad bikes into Australia, and protect Australian farmers and others who use them."

Further information about the new standard will be available on the Product Safety Australia website.


(Photo by Appic on Unsplash)