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Australia to make roll bars compulsory

The Australian Government is to make rollbars mandatory on all new quad bikes within two years.

The move raises the question of whether New Zealand will follow suit but also of how many quad bikes bought in this country are manufactured in or distributed from Australia and therefore will carry them as standard equipment.

Federated Farmers said it continued to oppose the mandatory use of the protection devices, while New Zealand surgeons congratulated the Australian on its new safety standards and urged New Zealand to do similar.

Since 2006, 64 people have been killed on quad bikes while working, most of them farmers and farm workers.

Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Li Hsee, who chairs the NZ trauma committee, said the same standards needed to be put in place in New Zealand.

"People are continuing to die or suffer horrific injuries as a result of quad bike crashes. Only two weeks ago, a 41-year-old woman near Waimate was killed in a quad bike crash. Tragically, these deaths and injuries are entirely preventable."

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne said quad bike manufacturers had not done in-depth testing in New Zealand on any specific products.

"Feds believes WorkSafe's stance of 'strongly recommending' rollover protection in conjunction with the 'right vehicle for the job' and 'identifying hazards on-farm' is appropriate.  If there is further research indicating rollover protection provides a net decrease in risk, and warrants regulation, we'll work with WorkSafe to consider policy implications," Milne said.

Source: Stuff NZ