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Quad bike safety

Quad bikes (four-wheeled motorbikes) can be fun and useful, but you should consider safety issues before riding them for recreation or work.

  • On average, 15 people are killed each year in Australia while using quad bikes.
  • About half the fatalities involve recreational use.
  • Quad bikes are the leading cause of accidental death and injury on Australian farms.
  • Each year, an estimated 1,000 people using quad bikes receive injuries requiring hospital treatment.

For further advice about quad bike safety and regulations, contact Worksafe Tasmania (external link).

Understanding the danger

Quad bikes:

  • are not all-terrain vehicles
  • can easily roll over and cause fatal crush injuries, even when ridden by safety-conscious people
  • pose a particular risk for children and older people.

Ways to prevent quad bike injuries and deaths

When considering using a quad bike, think carefully about whether it is a suitable vehicle for your needs.

To improve safety when using a quad bike you should:

  • select a machine that has a low risk of rollover
  • block off access to areas such as rough terrain or slopes
  • install a tested rollover or crush protection device
  • undertake a registered quad bike training course
  • ride on familiar tracks and beware of obstacles
  • always wear a helmet and ride at a safe speed

Do not:

  • allow people aged under 16 to use quad bikes of any size
  • carry passengers
  • carry heavy loads or overload a quad bike. They become more unstable and may roll
  • operate on rough terrain or slopes
  • exceed towing limits
  • operate a quad bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Quad Bike Safety Standard

The Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 (external link) came into effect on 11 October 2019. The purpose of the standard is to prevent or reduce the risk of fatality or injury associated with the use of quad bikes.

From 11 October 2020, all new and imported second-hand quad bikes (including general use, sports, transition and youth models) are required to:

  • meet the specified requirements of the United States (US) standard for quad bikes, ANSI/SVIA 1-2017 or the European (EN) standard for quad bikes, EN 15997:2011;
  • have a rollover warning label affixed so that when the quad bike is used, it will be clearly visible and legible;
  • provide information in the owner’s manual or information handbook on the risk of rollover;
  • be tested for lateral static stability and display the angle at which the quad bike tips on to two wheels on a hang tag; and
  • have a spark arrester that conforms to the Australian Standard AS 1019-2000 or the US Standard 5100-1d.

From 11 October 2021 (stage 2), all new and second-hand imported general use quad bikes are required to:

  • be fitted with an operator protection device (OPD) or have one integrated into its design and to meet the minimum stability requirements of:
  • lateral roll stability – a minimum tilt table ratio (TTR) of 0.55 (must not tip on two wheels on a slope less than 28.81 degrees); and
  • front and rear longitudinal pitch stability – a minimum tilt table ratio (TTR) of 0.8 (must not tip on two wheels on a slope less than 38.65 degrees).

Fines and penalties may apply for failure to comply with a mandatory safety or information standard.

Consumers and businesses can make a complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) if they believe they have seen a quad bike offered for sale or have been sold a quad bike that does not comply with the requirements of the safety standard.

Contact information for the ACCC and more information on the standard can be found on the ACCC Product Safety website (external link).

Quad Bike Safety Taskforce

On 4 January 2017 the Quad Bike Safety taskforce released an issues paper calling for submissions in response to a range of questions in relation to Quad Bike Safety in Tasmania - Issues Paper (pdf, 507.4 KB)

The paper identified the following key areas for potential action to improve quad bike safety in Tasmania:

  • Increasing rider awareness of risks
  • Improving rider skills
  • Greater rider protection
  • Government-led action

Further details as to the outcomes of the review will be provided at a later date.

Submissions

The following submissions have been received by the Taskforce, and are published as part of the review process.

Submissions closed on 28 February 2017.

Updated: 07 Dec 2022

This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.