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State government launches quad bike safety plan

With more than 1500 accidents in the past five years and 69 fatalities in the past 15, the figures surrounding quad bike use in Queensland speaks for itself.

In a bid to reduce the alarming statistics, state government Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace launched the 'State-wide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety in Queensland' at UQ's Gatton campus on Thursday.

Ms Grace said the state-wide safety plan would concentrate on three key areas including community education and awareness on quad bike safety risks, improving quad bike operator skills and safety and government leadership in promoting safety.

She said the plan was all about creating a safety culture for Queensland, which has the worse statistics for quad bike accidents in the country.

"I think it is important that we do what we can to raise public awareness about safety in using quad bikes not only in rural settings but in the recreational settings as well.

"We understand that quad bikes and side by sides are a necessary tool of trade and like any tool of trade we need to get the message out there about how to use them safely and this is what this state-wide plan is all about."

QUAD SAFETY: Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace launched the 'State-wide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety in Queensland' at UQ's Gatton campus on Thursday. Pictured is minister Grace with the Cocco family from the Atherton Tablelands (from left) Olivia, Mario, Domenic and Jodie.Photo Tom Threadingham / Gatton Star
QUAD SAFETY: Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace launched the 'State-wide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety in Queensland' at UQ's Gatton campus on Thursday. Pictured is minister Grace with the Cocco family from the Atherton Tablelands (from left) Olivia, Mario, Domenic and Jodie.Photo Tom Threadingham / Gatton Star Tom Threadingham

The launch of the safety plan comes on the back of an inquest into quad bike accidents from which Queensland's deputy coroner John Lock handed down 15 recommendations.

Ms Grace said most of the recommendations had been taken on board within the new state-wide safety plan.

However, she said at this stage there were no legislative changes to quad bike laws.

"At this stage we are not changing legislation, (but) there may be some mandatory safety requirements that come in later, particularly in the use of helmets," she said.

"We think there are a lot things we can do to improve safety without the need for legislative change at this point in time, but I don't want to rule anything in or out.

The Cocco family from the Atherton Tablelands joined minister Grace at the launch to share their story on their son Domenic who crashed his quad bike in October, 2014.

Domenic crashed into a power pole and suffered severe head trauma and was in an induced coma for four days, then spent six days in ICU and four weeks in hospital before being released.

"We've had a really positive outcome with Domenic's accident, he's a very lucky boy to still be here with us but we came very, very close to losing him," his mother Jodie said.

"We feel that education to parents is essential, we were very naïve, we've grown up on the Tablelands as country people, been around quad bikes and yet we thought it would be fun for the boys to go have a ride on the bike.

"And then Domenic, as an inexperienced rider, just went too fast and he's paid the ultimate price.

She said the launch of the plan on Thursday was a step in the right direction.

"I think to start off with, definitely, there is something that is now starting to happen and if we can protect our young people from these incidents (great)," she said.

Quad bike information

  • One in every five of the 69 quad bike fatalities in Queensland was a rider under the age of 16
  • There are approximately 380,000 quad bikes in operation, in Australia
  • Quad bike use is the leading cause of fatalities and injuries on Australian farms
  • 320 fatalities across Australia in the last 15 years
  • 7900 hospitalisations between 2003 and 2011 Australia wide
  • Queensland accounts for approximately one quarter of the total fatalities and Injuries in Australia

Topics:  grace grace, quad bike, quad bike accident, uq gatton


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