Graphic: Quad bikes need stricter regulation

Flying Doctor calls for stricter regulations for children using quad bikes

Date published

12 Sep 2017


The 2016 RFDS research paper 'Responding to Injuries in remote and rural Australia' suggested children under 16 should not be allowed to ride quadbikes as a strategy to reduce injuries on farms.

New US research published in the medical journal Pediatrics today provides greater evidence for this strategy, with a drop to almost half (41%) the number of quad bike related hospital admissions following the introduction of "Sean's Law" in 2010 which restricted the use of quads by children in the state of Massachusetts.

The results show Emergency Department visits reduced by:

- 33% in those aged 0‐9 years
- 50% in 10‐13 year olds
- 39% in 14‐17 year olds.

As this study indicates, enhancing regulations can effectively reduce child injury and should be a priority for state governments.

With this new evidence the Royal Flying Doctor Service, along with the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety once again call for the council of Australian Governments to develop and commit to resourcing a new national injury prevention and safety promotion plan that includes remote and rural Australians as a priority group.

The Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety report that there is also a role for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in regards to the safety of these products. As the inappropriately named youth and child sized quads can weigh up to 120kgs and also result in crush and asphyxiation deaths.

"The potential to reduce accidents is clear. Young Aussie lives can be saved with simple interventions and regulations", says Martin Laverty, CEO of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

The new US research paper can be found here.

The RFDS research paper on accidents and injuries in rural and remote Australia can be found here.