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New safety laws proposed for quad bikes and side-by-sides

By

11 May 2022

The Queensland Government is investigating proposed new regulations to improve safety for people operating quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles (SSVs) in a workplace.

Quad bikes and SSVs are a convenient and useful vehicle in rural workplaces, and an increasingly popular recreational and sporting vehicle. However, their widespread use continues to be associated with a high number of injuries and fatalities. Queensland has a disproportionate share of national vehicle fatalities and injuries, with about one in five quad bike incidents resulting in a head injury, and many of the injured not wearing a helmet or having adequate training.

Because of these factors, a Queensland coronial inquest into nine deaths involving quad bikes between 2012–2014 recommended introducing regulations to improve quad bike and SSV safety.

Since the coronial inquest, several initiatives, safety awareness campaigns and changes have been implemented in Queensland to influence rider behaviour and improve safety. These include changed road rules and the Ride ready safety campaign focused on training, wearing helmets, not allowing children on adult-sized quad bikes, and other important skill and safety messages.

We are now investigating changes to existing safety regulations, including mandating helmet use; banning children on adult quad bikes and SSVs; passenger restrictions for some vehicles; and seat belt requirements for SSVs (if they are installed). Training requirements are also being investigated.

Private use of quad bikes and SSVs outside of a workplace is not being considered.

All proposed changes are contained in the Quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles safety— Proposed work health and safety regulations—Discussion paper . Written submissions are sought from all interested parties on the specific questions and key issues identified in the discussion paper.

The paper seeks feedback on the proposed scope of the regulations and the practical impacts for individuals, businesses, and the broader community. Feedback will guide the development of the proposed safety regulations under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.

Both community and industry input is invited. To take part, simply head to Quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles safety—Proposed work health and safety regulations for all the details.

Consultation closes 5pm Friday 17 June 2022.

Email your submission to whspolicy@oir.qld.gov.au.