Statewide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety in Queensland 2016 – 2019 Released

Lets face it, when you hear about Quad bikes it is usually about an accident or fatality. The reality is Quad bikes (or ATV’s) are an indispensable farming tool and an awesome recreational machine. The latest information proposes that there are over 380 000 ATV’s in use throughout Australia and approximately another 23 000 sold new every year, so the problem of accidents is not going to go away any time soon.  The Queensland government has just released a plan to tackle the issue. Looking at the plan as IMG_2753a whole; They are heading in the right direction. The focus must be on public awareness not scare mongering. In my opinion,  safety awareness, training and helmet use for work will drastically reduce the number of fatalities. The main problems with these solutions are that Quad Bikes are so easy to operate, farmers don’t want to be trained in something they already know how to do. Not to mention that there is no ATV specific work helmet in the Australian market. Perhaps with the new legislation an ATV Australian Standard work helmet will evolve? As far as the Training issue, We need to overhaul the cumbersome and in-efficient current module and make it more effective and palatable for farmers. Subsidized training is the only way we will see any kind of real uptake. If the Queensland Government wants to make an effective difference it needs to consult with all stakeholders and not just make ‘policy on the run’. All stakeholders, meaning user groups, end users, manufacturers, trainers, recreational clubs and industry groups. I have already seen an example of poor ill-informed ‘policy on the run’ by Neil Cambourn, Assistant Deputy Director of Queensland National Parks in their ‘Operational Policy’ report released in Nov 2015. The report has the audacity to state that “. Recreational use is not considered to be genuine need. Permits will not be granted for the recreational use of quad bikes as part of an organised event permit.” In our National parks? Please Mr. Cambourn, repeal that ridiculous policy and work with user groups to find a workable solution. National Parks belong to us all, even ATV operators. Perhaps the new plan will bring poor policy like this to light?