Explanatory Notes & References

We won’t have a bar of it

The safety of quad bike riders is a priority issue for FCAI members. There is no safety standard for quad bikes in Australia, so all FCAI members follow the US safety standard 1.

FCAI members believe that no single measure can protect quad bike rider safety and that a combination of measures is required. These include the requirement that riders be suitably trained, helmets are worn, no passengers are allowed, and that children must not ride adult-sized quad bikes.

We oppose the use of ROPS or CPDs on quad bikes. Our view is based on international research 2 which found that all ROPS and CPDs examined at the time posed an unacceptably high 3 risk of creating new injuries. In addition, under some conditions of use or misuse, all ROPS and CPDs examined were found either to be ineffectual overall, or to increase the number and severity of injuries.

The international research compared unmodified and modified quad bikes across a range of use and misuse conditions. It found that in every condition, all of the devices examined caused an unacceptably high proportion of new injuries compared to the injuries which were reduced. The proportion is unacceptably high in comparison to published accident data for other types of occupant protection systems in other types of vehicles and according to the relevant international standard 4 for assessing risk.


1 All ATVs imported into Australia by FCAI members comply with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s mandatory consumer product safety standard for ATVs: ANSI/SVIA-1-2010 American National Standard for Four-Wheel All-Terrain Vehicles Equipment Configuration and Performance Requirements. This safety standard was developed by the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and includes specific approved requirements for pitch stability, operation (such as controls, braking performance and mechanical suspension) and limited speed capabilities for all youth-sized ATVs. The standard is described here and can be ordered here.

2The international research on which FCAI members base their opposition to the fitment of ROPS and CPDs on quad bikes was conducted by Dynamic Research Inc. in 2007 and 2012. The study modelled several types of ATV overturn based on 113 real ATV accidents from the UK and USA, and compared unmodified and modified quad bikes across a range of use and misuse conditions. The analysis used the relevant portions of international standard ISO 13232 (2005) for Motorcycles – Test and analysis procedures for research evaluation of rider crash protective devices fitted to motorcycles.

3“Unacceptably high” means in comparison to published accident data for other types of occupant protection systems found in other types of vehicles, as well as in comparison to the risk/benefit guideline found in international standard ISO 13232 (2005).

4The relevant international standard for assessing this risk is ISO 13232 (2005).