The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) says that “a more scientific approach is needed on ATV safety, and Victorian taxpayer money could be better spent on the strong promotion of known safety practices such as helmets and rider training.”
The comments come after the Victorian Government announced $6 million in subsidies to help Victorian farmers buy roll over protection bars for quad bikes.
Under the Victorian subsidy scheme farmers will be able to claim $600 per bike to fit operational protection devices up to a maximum of two rebates per farm business.
Alternately, farmers can get a rebate of $1,200 for the cost of buying a new vehicle with safety protection already installed.
While the FCAI has welcomed the NSW and Victorian governments’ interest in the ATV safety issue debate, it believes the Victorian rebate should be focussed on the known benefits of helmets and accredited rider training.
Chief Executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said that while there’s clearly a strong desire among the governments to be seen to do something to support ATV safety, a rebate scheme has been rushed in to subsidise a so-called safety device which is not supported by scientific evidence.
“Very little research has been carried out by the promoters of Crush Protection Devices to prove their effectiveness,”
“And the work that has been carried out has been independently identified as falling short of being able to be relied upon, as was revealed during a recent Coronial inquest in Queensland.”
Mr Weber goes on to say that “a wide body of research from a very experienced US engineering firm, Dynamic Research Inc. (DRI) has done extensive testing to show that so-called CPDs for ATVs can cause as many new injuries as they may prevent.”
“We believe the Victorian and NSW governments, in their rush to be seen to be doing something, are ignoring the best evidence available and using farmers to test an unproven and potentially dangerous product,” Mr Weber said.