Honda lashes out over ‘disappointing’ mandatory roll bar protection for quad bikes – PoliticsOctober 10, 2019
Quad bike manufacturer Honda has lashed out at the Federal Government’s new safety rules for the vehicles, describing the measures as a “ban by stealth”.
- Honda says it is “disappointed” with the Government’s plan to make roll bar protection on quad bikes mandatory
- The company has doubled down its threat to leave the Australian market, which if had previously made following a 2018 ACCC report
- Farmers’ groups and the ACCC have applauded the Government’s decision, citing high fatality figures over the past decade
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar announced today that manufacturers will have two years to comply with legislation mandating that new quad bikes be fitted with crush protection devices.
Honda Australia spokesman Robert Toscano said that it was a “disappointing day for farm safety and the countless farmers who rely on quad bikes every day”.
“As it looks, in two year’s time we will be forced to cease supply of quad bikes in Australia,” Mr Toscano said in a statement.
“Honda’s position has always been to put farmer safety first.
“The final standard released this morning fundamentally fails.”
National Farmers’ Federation chief executive Tony Mahar welcomed the new regulations as a “great step forward” but admitted not all farmers have been seeking the extra regulation.
“I think there are various views — there always is — but ultimately the facts speak,” Mr Mahar said.
“There are 16 deaths a year — more than one person a month, six people a day presenting at hospital.
“The facts don’t lie.”
More than 130 people have died in quadbike accidents in Australia over the past eight years. (Supplied)
Raft of regulations
In its reaction to today’s announcement, Honda claimed that “known and proven safety measures accepted and agreed by safety experts, coronial inquests and the manufacturers have been ignored.”
These measures include mandatory training, helmet use, and limiting the age of riders to 16 and older.
Mr Sukkar said this morning that he planned to write to state and territory governments calling on them to ban children from riding adult-sized quad bikes, and prohibit passengers on single person quad bikes.
He will also recommend that states mandate helmets for people riding quad bikes.
It was also announced that within one year new bikes will be required to carry a warning to alert riders to the risk of rollovers.
They will also have to meet US and European standards relating to brakes, suspension systems, throttles and clutches.
The new standards will also mandate that in two years all new bikes meet minimum stability requirements.
There are no new requirements for existing bikes.
“Quad bikes are the leading cause of fatalities in Australia for all consumer products that aren’t regulated,” Mr Sukkar said.
“This safety standard aims to…