This safety standard applies to all quad bikes from 11 October 2020 with additional requirements for general use quad bikes from 11 October 2021. The standard does not apply to second-hand quad bikes other than those imported into Australia.
A quad bike (also known as an all-terrain vehicle or ATV) is an off-road motorised vehicle that travels on four wheels, with a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control. All vehicles that meet this description, including those that are propelled by a combustion engine and an electric engine, are considered to be quad bikes.
There are three categories of quad bikes:
- general use models (commonly marketed as utility, work or agricultural models)
- youth models (also marketed as fun models) and transition models
- sports models.
See also: Quad bikes
From 11 October 2020, there are three important things to check when buying a new or an imported second-hand quad bike so you can compare safety aspects of different models.
The Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 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. There have been at least 136 fatalities during 2011–19 and it is estimated that six people present to an emergency department each day, of which two are admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Around 15 per cent of deaths involve children.
The safety standard sets out the requirements for new quad bikes and imported second-hand quad bikes. It is intended to:
- improve information for consumers (through a hang tag, warning for operators and additional information in the manual) from 11 October 2020
- improve the design of quad bikes (through requiring quad bikes to meet certain requirements in the US or European Standard) from 11 October 2020
- improve the design of general use quad bikes to reduce the likelihood of a rollover incident occurring (through stability requirements) and to mitigate the harm if a rollover does occur (through operator protection devices) from 11 October 2021.
An explanatory statement, including a regulation impact statement, is available online.
Why doesn't the safety standard apply to all second-hand quad bikes?
The safety standard does not apply to second-hand quad bikes other than those imported into Australia.
The purpose is to allow the existing quad bike fleet to gradually upgrade to quad bikes that meet the safety standard over time. However, the exclusion does not extend to second-hand quad bikes that have been imported into Australia after the commencement of the safety standard. The purpose of excluding imported second-hand quad bikes is to ensure suppliers do not import these vehicles to avoid the requirements to meet the safety standard.
From 11 October 2020, all new and imported second-hand quad bikes are required to:
- meet the specified requirements of the US standard for quad bikes, ANSI/SVIA 1-2017, or the European 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 at the point of sale.
- have a spark arrestor that conforms to the Australian Standard AS 1019-2000 or the US Standard 5100-1d.
1. US/European standards
From 11 October 2020, all new and imported second-hand quad bikes must meet the requirements set out in either:
- sections 4 to 8, including the related figures (Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4), of the American National Standard for Four Wheel All-Terrain Vehicles – Equipment, Configuration, and Performance Requirements (ANSI/SVIA 1 – 2017); or
- clauses 5 to 7, including the related annexes (Annexes B, C, D, E, G and H), of the European Standard for All Terrain Vehicles (ATV-Quads) Safety Requirements and Test Methods (EN 15997:2011). (Clause 126.96.36.199 (on longitudinal stability) is excluded).
Approximately 90 per cent of quad bikes sold in Australia are already manufactured to meet the requirements of the US or European Standard.
As at 2019, these standards and other standards referenced in the safety standard can be obtained from the following sites:
- US Standard — available for purchase from the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America
- European Standard, US Military standard MIL‑S‑13192 and Australian standard AS 1019‑2000 — available for purchase at the SAI Global website
- United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Standard 5100-1d — available free of charge at the United States Forest Service website.
The US Standard was developed by an industry association, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA). Initially, it was a voluntary industry standard for quad bikes, which was approved by the American National Standards Institute in 1990. Compliance with the standard became mandatory in the US in 2006 under federal regulation. The standard has been updated and revised. For the purposes of the Australian safety standard, the relevant version is ANSI/SVIA 1–2017.
Sections 4 to 8 of the US Standard cover:
- vehicle equipment and configuration (including brakes, mechanical suspension, engine stop switch, clutch control, throttle control, drive train controls, indicators, electric start interlock, passenger handholds, flag pole bracket, manual fuel shutoff control, handlebars, foot environment, lighting and reflective equipment, spark arrester, tires, security, owner’s manual, identification number, labels and hang tags)
- maximum speed capability measurement and speed capability requirements
- service brake performance
- parking brake mechanism/performance.
The European Standard was approved by the European Committee for Standardization in 2011. Committee member nations were required to give this European Standard the status of a national standard either by publication of identical text or by endorsement by 2012. For the purposes of the Australian safety standard, the relevant version is EN 15997:2011 COR 2012.
The European Standard EN 15997:2011 is based on US Standard but includes additional requirements, for example, for noise and carbon dioxide emissions, and excludes some requirements, for example, for spark arresters.
Clauses 5 to 7 (excluding clause 188.8.131.52) cover:
- mechanical hazards (including throttle control, braking, steering, moving parts, sharp edges, rider foot environment, fuel and hydraulic systems, rider’s seat and handlebar, passenger handholds, mechanical suspension, drive train controls, indicators, electric starter interlock, access systems, foot controls, lighting, tyres, speed, engine stop switch, manual clutch control, security and flag pole bracket)
- electrical hazards (including over-current protective devices, batteries and security)
- hot surfaces
- noise control
- vibration hazards
- material/substance hazards
- controls and indicators
- errors of fitting
- information for use.
2. Permanent warning label
From 11 October 2020, quad bikes must have a rollover warning label that is fixed so it is clearly visible when the quad bike is used in addition to the warning labels required in the ANSI/SVIA 1-2017 or EN 15997:2011.
3. Owner manual/instructions
From 11 October 2020, the owner’s manual (if complying with the US Standard) or instruction handbook (if complying with the European Standard) accompanying the quad bike must also provide information alerting consumers to the risk of rollovers, when the risk of rollover is increased and how to best operate the quad bike safely in higher risk conditions.
4. Yellow hang tag
The hang tag is intended to allow consumers to compare the stability of different models within a particular category of quad bikes by providing consumers with information about the minimum angle the quad bike tipped sideways on to two wheels when it was tested on a tilt table by the manufacturer. Quad bikes with higher numbers (bigger tilt table angles) are more stable.
From 11 October 2020, a lateral stability hang tag must be attached to quad bikes so that it is clearly visible and legible at the point of sale. The hang tag must record the minimum angle the quad bike tipped sideways on to two wheels (its tilt table angle).
When developing the tag, the following information is required to be inserted:
- XX.X° = the minimum angle at which the quad bike tipped sideways on to 2 wheels
- XYZ Pty Ltd = the manufacturer of the quad bike model tested
- Model(s) X, #### = the model of quad bike tested.
Hang tag lateral stability values (tilt table angles) should be used for comparison of different models within quad bike categories, for example, to compare different models of general use quad bikes. These values are not intended to be used to compare models from different categories, for example, to compare general use quad bikes with youth quad bikes.
The quad bike must be tested using the lateral roll tilt test procedure in Schedule 1 of the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019 to obtain the minimum tilt table angle displayed.
General use and sports quad bikes are tested with a test dummy (an Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD)) seated on the quad bike. Youth and transition quad bikes are tested without an ATD. For the same quad bike, the tilt table angle is significantly lower with an ATD than without an ATD.
5. Spark arresters
From 11 October 2020, the safety standard requires quad bikes to be fitted with a spark arrester that conforms to Australian Standard AS 1019-2000 or the US Standard 5100-1d.
However, although the safety standard allows manufacturers to comply with the US or Australian spark arrester standards, manufacturers will still need to ensure that their products also meet any other applicable laws such as the Victorian fire regulations.
From October 2021, general use quad bikes are required to meet the minimum stability requirements of:
- lateral roll stability — a minimum Tilt Table Ratio (TTR) of 0.55 (must not tip on to two wheels on a slope less than 28.81 degrees)
- front and rear longitudinal pitch stability — a minimum TTR of 0.8 (must not tip on to two wheels on a slope less than 38.65 degrees)
The quad bike must also be fitted with an operator protection device (OPD) or have one integrated into its design.
Operator protection device (OPD) requirements
The purpose of an OPD is to help protect riders from the risk of death or serious injury as a result of being crushed or pinned in the event of a rollover.
From 11 October 2021, general use quad bikes must have an OPD fitted or integrated into its design. The purpose of an OPD is to hold the quad bike off the ground, helping to protect the rider from the risk of serious injury or fatality as a result of being crushed or pinned in the event of a rollover.
A general use quad bike must have one of the following devices fitted or integrated into its design:
- an ATV Lifeguard
- a Quadbar
- a device of a type that offers the same, or better, level of protection for operators from the risk of serious injury or death as a result of being crushed or pinned in the event of a rollover.
At this stage, youth and sports quad bikes are not required to be fitted with an OPD due to the lack of testing of after-market OPDs designed for these categories.
For more information about the safety standard requirements relating to OPDs see: Operator protection devices (OPDs)
Static stability requirements
From 11 October 2021, general use quad bikes must meet minimum static stability requirements.
When subjected to a tilt table test with an average size male test dummy (HIII 50th percentile average male Anthropomorphic Test Device (50 PAM H3 ATD)) seated on the quad bike, general use model quad bikes must be able to achieve the following minimum stability levels:
- lateral roll stability — a minimum tilt table ratio of 0.55
- front and rear longitudinal pitch stability — a minimum tilt table ratio of 0.8.
Tilt table test procedures are contained within Schedule 1 of the Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standard 2019.
At this stage, the minimum stability requirements do not apply to youth, transition or sports quad bikes due to the lack of research on design changes for these categories.
Consumers typically purchase new quad bikes from dealers, although manufacturers may supply some customers directly for special purpose applications.
The ACCC encourages all consumers to take immediate action to ensure their safety when operating quad bikes. While the standard gives suppliers transition periods to comply with the safety standard, including 24 months to ensure general-use quad bikes have an OPD fitted or integrated into their design, consumers can take immediate action and start fitting OPDs now. During the transition period, if your workplace uses quad bikes, you may be entitled to a rebate.
The manufacturer, importer or distributor who supplies you (the dealer) with quad bikes to resell in Australia is responsible for supplying a compliant quad bike to you. If you think your supplier has contravened the safety standard, you can report it to the ACCC.
If you have stock that does not comply with the safety standard when the requirements commence, you will not be able to sell that stock under the Australian Consumer Law.
As the manufacturer, importer or distributor supplying into Australia, you are responsible for ensuring that the quad bikes that you supply to Australia (whether to dealers or directly to consumers) comply with the requirements of the safety standard.
Otherwise, you may be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law, which can result in fines and penalties.
In Australia, quad bikes are purchased for use in the agriculture and forestry industries as work vehicles. Quad bikes are also used in the tourism industry.
If you buy a quad bike for your business from 11 October 2020, the supplier must comply with the safety standard. Otherwise, the supplier may be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law, which can result in fines and penalties.
If you think that a supplier has contravened the safety standard, you can report this to the ACCC.
Quad bikes are also regulated under work health and safety legislation. Road rules for each jurisdiction also apply if the quad bike is ridden on public roads.
Safe Work Australia provides contact details for the work health and safety authority in each state and territory and for the Commonwealth. You can also obtain further information on:
- your obligations to protect workers and other persons from harm
- ways to prevent quad bike deaths and injuries
- rebates provided by some jurisdictions to improve the safety of quad bikes.
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