Science

$1 million to boost quad bike safety

Photo credit: IASousa - Fotopedia
Tuesday, 24 July, 2012
Bob Beale

The NSW Government will spend $1 million on research to try to reduce the number of quad bike deaths across the State.

The Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce, says the money will be used to fund research into vehicle safety and improve quad bike protective devices and accessories. The research will be conducted at the UNSW Transport and Road Safety research facility.
 
“According to Farmsafe Australia, more than 150 people have died in quad bike incidents in the last 10 years, with almost nine out of 10 rollover deaths occurring on farms,” Mr Pearce said. “Quad bikes are used extensively on farms for weed control, mustering, property inspections and maintenance work.
 
“Earlier this month a 13 year old girl died after falling off a quad bike near Wollongong – and last year the oldest victim from a quad bike fatality was a 94-year-old man. Every quad bike fatality is a tragedy and it’s time for researchers, regulators, manufacturers and the farming community to work together to improve safety for all quad bike users.
 
“Through this $1 million research project, experts in vehicle safety will conduct a series of crash tests to identify engineering and design enhancements which could improve quad bike safety,” he said.
 
Most fatalities are the result of head injuries or from being trapped under overturned vehicles. The project will involve pioneering tests of  protective systems in the prevention of asphyxia and serious chest injuries when a quad bike rolls over.
 
It will also consider the recommendation of a national safety standard for all quad bike manufacturers and suppliers. WorkCover and the University expect the project to begin soon.
 
The Australian Centre For Agricultural Health and Safety said in a statement of response that the study would "provide genuinely independent and robust analysis on the stability of quad bikes and the effectiveness of Crush Protection Devices (CPDs). Additionally, the study will also provide people looking to purchase a vehicle with some concrete evidence on the stability of different quad bikes and provide a baseline from which a technical standard for CPDs can be developed. The UNSW Centre responsible for the study is at the cutting edge of research and is internationally renowned for its excellence."
 
Media contacts:
UNSW - Bob Beale 0411 705 435 bbeale@unsw.edu.au
Minister's Office - Jan Le Maitre 0419 618 081