News

Protection devices a ‘risk’

By Country News

ATV riders with operator protection devices fitted to their quad bikes are risking death or serious injury, according to one of the world’s foremost authorities on ATV safety.

United States-based expert Scott Kebschull, vice-president and technical director of automotive research firm Dynamic Research, said recommendations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission could do more harm than good.

‘‘The ACCC recommendation and the policies of WorkSafe in NSW and Victoria for the fitting of OPDs are putting riders at risk,’’ Mr Kebschull said.

‘‘Our evidence highlights the wearing of safety helmets as the most effective device for reducing ATV injuries and deaths. It’s wear a helmet and ride safely.’’

Research conducted by Mr Kebschull and a team of experts used simulations, validated by full-scale tests, of 110 real-world rollover accident scenarios on incidents from the US and United Kingdom to assess the impact of OPDs.

According to the research, OPDs caused as many rider injuries and fatalities as it prevented in 110 overturn events.

The research also confirms the findings of Deputy State Coroner Lock into a Queensland ATV incident inquest who did not make a finding for OPD fitment, but said more real-world data was required.