Quad bike riders will be required to wear motorcycle helmets following the introduction of the new laws which are a direct response to a recommendation from the State Coroners Report.
The report found more than 200 riders have died on quad bikes.
RACQ spokesperson Anna Hilton says the numbers have been on the rise due to the increased use on public roads.
Anna Hilton: “Well not a lot of quad bikes are used on roads, so it’s not something that farmers have been doing a lot of, or recreational riders have been doing a lot of, and now they are.”
Ms Hilton says the mandatory change will help save lives.
Anna Hilton: “Head injuries accounted for a third of quad bike fatalities, and in 84% of those cases, people weren’t wearing helmets.”
Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety’s director Tony Lower agrees, saying helmets also prevent long-term trauma.
Tony Lower: “We also do know that there’s a significant number of traumatic brain related injuries, which do occur, particularly when people are not using helmets. We’d like to see greater use of helmets and we do think – there’s no doubt about it – that from the evidence available, that that will result in a reduction of both deaths and injuries related to the head.”
He also says the helmet safety law will bring Queensland in-line with other Australian states.
Tony Lower: “It’s been a little bit of an anomaly within the state regulations, because the other states across Australia do have regulations requiring use of a helmet on quads when you’re on a public road. But I think the latest improvement in the regulations simply brings Queensland into step with the rest of Australia.”
Although the legislation only applies to public roads or related spaces, quad bike riders are urged to wear safety gear whenever possible.
This is especially important on the land, where riders are more likely to be ignorant of their own safety.
Mr Lower says that on-farm deaths make up 90 per cent of quad bike fatalities.
Tony Lower: “And we do know from the deaths information that we have that, essentially, it’s really an on-farm issue rather than a public road issue. But again, we do know that there’s some use on public roads and that there are, unfortunately, some incidents on those public roads as well.”
Existing registered riders have been advised of the change, which comes into effect on November 1.
Those who don’t comply will face a $282 fine.
Tony Lower: “But clearly it does send a message to people that helmets are important when using quad bikes, and that’s a message we’d like to reinforce to people.”
Chloe Ranford, QUT News.