A spate of recent accidents involving all terrain vehicles, commonly known as quad bikes, including a fatality in NSW last Sunday, has prompted the National Farmers' Federation to make a fresh call for government action on safety standards.
A 57-year-old cattle farmer from Forbes, NSW, was killed on Sunday August 25 when his ATV flipped while he was feeding cattle. Police said the man had become trapped under the vehicle and passed away before being found by his partner.
Just two days earlier a teenage girl was crushed when her quad bike overturned at Three Moons in North Queensland.
She was able to call emergency services for help but sustained serious chest and spinal injuries.
In a statement released today the NFF said another four people, including two children, were hospitalised as a result of a quad bike accident on a property near Mackay, North Queensland, on August 24.
"What will it take to enact change? How many lives need to be lost? How many people need to suffer life-altering injuries before the Government will act to make quad bikes safer," NFF president Fiona Simson said.
In March, the ACCC recommended to Government to mandate the fitting of operator protection devices (OPDs) on all new ATVs within two years.
Earlier this month, the Victoria Coroner supported the recommendation.
The Government has indicated it will make a decision within coming months, following the close of the third round of consultation in June.
"They could and should make the change now," Ms Simson said.
"Why won't the Government stand up to the manufacturers in recognition of the people who have died, so their deaths were not in vain?
"The Assistant Treasurer only needs to sign a document for the safety standard to come into effect.
"We are at a complete loss as to why this hasn't happened yet."
According to the NFF, eight people have lost their lives in quad bike-related accidents so far this year.
"That should be enough to prompt action, yet alone the incidents of serious and debilitating injuries," Ms Simson said.
"Despite these horrifying stories, quad bike manufacturers and their paid lobbyists continue to frustrate the case for change.
"But this is not a complicated issue. People are dying, at a rate of about once a month. People are being seriously injured, at about two people per day."
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