IF the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommendations about quad bikes in their current state are passed as law, Yamaha Motor Australia says it will be forced to cease selling utility ATVs in Australia.
The ACCC has drafted what it calls ATV Mandatory Safety Standards for the government, who are poised to sign off on them.
Should the ACCC recommendations be ratified – which is looking extremely likely, according to Yamaha – then within 12 months, ATVs will need to comply to certain engineering standards and within 24 months will be required to be fitted with an Operator Protective Device (OPD) and meet new standards.
In a statement, Yamaha said: “Independent studies have shown that OPDs are not an effective safety solution and are likely to cause as many injuries as they may prevent.
“In addition, there is no safety standard for OPDs.
“These are the main reasons that Yamaha engineers will not make the design changes that are proposed for the AUS market.
“This means the end of the line for Yamaha utility ATVs in Australia.”
Yamaha Motor Australia Director Brad Ryan said the science behind the draft is both “faulty and selective”.
“Yamaha Motor Australia has advised the ACCC that behaviour is easily the biggest contributing factor to ATV safety,” Mr Ryan said.
“We pointed out that three successive coronial inquiries have concluded that enforced behavioural standards rather than product modification are the solution.
“And that our industry is actively trying to change behavioural attitudes and would greatly appreciate support in achieving this.
“Unfortunately, the ACCC Quadbike Taskforce continues to push for engineering changes and product modifications which look to be political rather than scientific decisions.
“And now the federal government is making a decision that will make no utility ATVs our new reality,” he added.
The absence of ATVs from the Australian market will not only hamper farm business, it will also negatively impact many ATV dealers, according to Yamaha.
There is time to oppose the ACCC recommendations but all comments, calls and submissions must be made before 5pm on June 10.
Yamaha asks all interested parties to voice their opinions by:
* Contacting the minister currently responsible for handling the sign off – Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert (07) 5500 5919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org;
* Making this an election issue – contact your local candidates in the upcoming election to voice your concern; and
* Contacting the Anti Competition and Consumer Commission at https://consultation.accc.gov.au/product-safety/quad-bike-safety-standard-exposure-draft/ and make a submission.
Promoting ATV safety
Yamaha Motor Australia has consistently promoted ATV safety over the years having launched the ATV Safety Institute (now YASSI) to improve riding skills; given away free how-to-ride safety videos (then DVDs) with every ATV; introduced the ‘Wear it or Park it’ helmet safety campaign; developed the farmer-friendly ATV helmet in conjunction with Shark; acted with the FCAI to promote five star ATV safety guidelines; and actively promoted safe use of ATVs EG via riding demonstrations at field days and with marketing material.
They’ve also hired ATV safety ambassadors Grant Denyer and Lee Kernaghan to assist in getting the message to farmers.
Yamaha Motor Australia supported these safety initiatives following independent research recommendations, and because coronial inquiries have concluded that behavioural standards – rather than product modifications – hold the key to ATV safety.