The NSW government has announced additional funding for a quad bike safety scheme, bringing total investment in the initiative up to $3.7 million.
Last year, we reported that the Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program had issued rebates worth $1 million, and the state government appears to be doubling down on its commitment to protect riders.
Ten people were killed in Australia while on quad bikes last year, with half of the deaths occurring in NSW, according to Safe Work Australia (SWA). Most fatalities occur when a quad bike rolls over, crushing the rider underneath.
The safety improvement program provides quad bike owners with two rebates worth up to $1,000 each. People can either use the money to replace an existing vehicle, or have an existing model fitted with new safety features.
Farmers set to benefit the most from funding
Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean was quick to tout the program's benefits for farmers, with agricultural workers among the most likely to injure themselves or die while riding a quad bike. Between 2011 and 2016, nearly half of all quad bike fatalities happened while the rider was working.
"Quad bikes are one of the biggest killers on our farms. In fact, according to AgHealth Australia, there have been 240 deaths as a result of quad bikes across Australia since 2001," he explained.
"Today's funding means we can continue to work with farmers to help ensure that when they head off to work in the morning, they return home safely to their family each night."
In addition to the two rebates, people can also access free quad bike training with Tocal College. More than 850 farmers have already completed their accredited training, with 100 more courses scheduled for 2018-19.
ACCC recommends national safety standard
The NSW government is not the only organisation committed to quad bike safety. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently proposed major changes to safety standards for the vehicles.
According to the ACCC, quad bike accidents result in 16 deaths per year on average, as well as six people per day being hospitalised with injuries. The commission proposed a mandatory safety standard that would:
- Introduce a safety star rating for quad bikes.
- Use the existing US standard, which enforces rollover warnings.
- Require minimum performance tests for handling, stability and mechanical suspension.
The ACCC's proposals are still under consideration, with a final recommendation for the federal government due soon.
Those who are injured in quad bike accidents in the course of their employment should be entitled to workers compensation payments. If you would like to discuss making a claim, please contact our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.