From 1 February 2017, children under the age of 8 are prohibited from being carried as passengers on quad bikes and utility off-road vehicles being used on a road, as well as any child of any age if they are unable to sit with their feet flat on the floor and hands on handholds.
Additionally, as of 1 February 2017 the requirement for the operator of a quad bike or utility off-road vehicle and their passengers to wear a motorcycle helmet will be legislated in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009. Failing to comply with the mandatory helmet requirements will result in a fine of $365 and the incursion of 3 demerit points. This offence will also be subject to existing motorcycle helmet double demerit point penalties. If 2 or more motorcycle helmet offences are committed within a 12 month period, the second and subsequent offences will incur double demerit points.
These new requirements apply on roads and road related areas only and will be enforced by the Queensland Police Service.
From 1 February there will still be no exemptions from wearing an approved motorcycle helmet for quad bike riders and passengers. Exemptions from wearing an approved motorcycle helmet still apply for the driver and passengers of utility off-road vehicles being operated under conditional registration code LO3, provided the vehicle has factory fitted seatbelts and a roll over protection system.
Regular, full faced motorcycle helmets can be impractical for farm tasks at low speeds, so a major quad bike distributor has developed a helmet specifically for quad bike use that will be available in the coming months. The Shark brand helmet is made for Australian conditions and is lightweight, cooler and does not impact vision or hearing.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the quad bike industry are working together to ensure quad bike riders understand a helmet is the most effective defence against often-fatal head injuries, and will continue to communicate this and other safety messages to reduce injuries and deaths associated with quad bike use.
For more information on quad bike requirements, visit qld.gov.au/transport or for quad bike safety, visit worksafe.qld.gov.au/rideready