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Tougher quad bike safety standards from October

The Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 was introduced nationally to reduce the risk of fatality and injury associated with quad bikes, which have been involved in more than fifty fatalities in Queensland since 2011.

Phase one of the national safety standard included requirements for all quad bikes from October 2020. Phase two of the safety standard begins on 11 October 2021 and requires all new and imported second-hand general use quad bikes to be fitted with an operator protection device (OPD) or have one integrated into their design, and to meet minimum requirements for stability.

The purpose of an OPD is to hold the quad bike off the ground, helping to protect the rider from being crushed or pinned in the event of a rollover.

A general use quad bike must have one of the following devices fitted or integrated into its design:

  • an ATV Lifeguard
  • a Quadbar
  • a device that offers the same, or better, level of protection for operators from the risk of being crushed or pinned in a rollover.

At this stage, youth and sports quad bikes are not required to be fitted with an OPD due to the lack of testing of after-market OPDs designed for these categories.

From 11 October this year, general use quad bikes must meet minimum static stability requirements. When subjected to a tilt table test with an average size male test dummy seated on the quad bike, general use model quad bikes must be able to achieve:

  • lateral roll stability — a minimum tilt table ratio of 0.55
  • front and rear longitudinal pitch stability — a minimum tilt table ratio of 0.8.

Tilt table test procedures are contained within Schedule 1 of the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019. The minimum stability requirements do not apply to youth, transition or sports quad bikes due to the lack of research on design changes.

These standards are national, but Queensland work health and safety laws do require that duty holders manage risks associated with a quad bike overturning, things falling on the operator, the operator being ejected from the quad bike, and the quad bike colliding with any person or thing.

Further information

For more information on Quad bike standards visit Product Safety Australia.

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