Australia’s ATV industry and the Queensland Government’s WorkSafe agency has joined forces to provide a focus on quad bike safety at the state’s largest agricultural show, the Ekka (Royal Queensland Show) in Brisbane.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the national body which represents Australia’s ATV distributors, have developed a number of safety initiatives which align to a great degree with those advocated by WorkSafe Queensland.
Given the Ekka is regarded as when country Queensland comes to Brisbane, it was seen as an ideal opportunity for getting their shared ATV safety messages out to a wider audience. Two quad bikes, one adult-sized and another child-sized, were placed on the Office of Industrial Relations stand to stress the importance of not allowing children to ride adult size ATVs, together with a raft of other information for riders.
In June, the Queensland government introduced a “Ride ready” program which encourages a number of safe practices including the need for riders to wear helmets, and for parents to keep their children off adult-sized ATVs. Studies have found that wearing a helmet can provide a better than a 60 per cent chance of avoiding an ATV injury.
The Chief Executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said that the progressive attitude of the Queensland Government toward tackling the issue of ATV safety using known science was heartening.
“The FCAI commissioned a large body of research into ATV safety and our views very much dovetail with those of Queensland’s WorkSafe agency,” Mr Weber said.
“The Queensland approach to ATV safety is far more pragmatic and objective than the poorly-considered engineering solution promoted in Victoria.
“Queensland’s Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace is to be applauded for her rational and progressive approach in creating a safety culture through education and rider awareness.”
The FCAI is continuing with its ongoing safety messaging program, particularly aimed at rural and farm riders, through the recent release of its 5-Star ATV Safety Guide available at the Ekka and through all ATV retailers.
The 5-Star ATV Safety Guide says:
- Choose a vehicle that is fit for purpose (for the tasks and level of rider experience);
- Protect yourself with a helmet, proper riding gear and don’t ride whilst intoxicated;
- Be Trained to fully understand the vehicle attributes and limitations;
- Safe Riders and Loads – no children on adult size ATVs, or passengers on single seat ATVs; don’t overload your ATV particularly when riding on slopes;
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, particularly the warning labels and advice in the owner’s manual.