Industry takes proactive approach with new 5-Star ATV Safety Guide
A key communications tool in the industry’s new safety strategy for All Terrain Vehicle riders has been released to raise awareness about staying safe on your ATV.
The 5 Star Safe ATV User Guide will be available through all ATV dealerships, and can be viewed through the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry’s (FCAI) website at www.atvsafety.com.au.
Rural users, in particular, are a key focus of the safety guide which aims to engage riders and assist them in choosing the most appropriate type of ATV to suit their needs, as well as encouraging appropriate protective gear, training and safe riding practices.
Tony Weber, the Chief Executive of the FCAI, said dealers play a vital role in assisting buyers in choosing the type of ATV which best suits their needs. The guide offers a handy checklist where, at a glance, a buyer can identify whether an ATV suits their needs, or a Side-by-Side Vehicle (SSV), or perhaps even a more conventional farm-specific motorcycle
“With so many models available, the guide will enable people on the land, and those who use these vehicles recreationally to choose a well-suited, ‘fit for purpose ATV’,” Mr Weber said.
The 5 Star Safe ATV User Guide explains how the types of terrain, the tasks for which it is required, and rider experience are all factors which combine to influence vehicle selection.
“People who live and work on the land may think a particular machine suits their needs perhaps because that’s the type of machine they have always used. The guide can encourage them to look at their work situation from a safety perspective and through the selection matrix, consider a number of options.”
The ATV Safe User Guide also advises riders about the well-known safe practices of wearing a helmet and protective gear, the value provided by training, the dangers of allowing children and passengers on adult size and single seat ATVs, and the importance of following the manufacturer’s recommendations and warnings.
“We want to make safety a high priority among ATV riders,” Mr Weber said.
“Even the simple act of wearing a helmet reduces your chances of head injury on an ATV by up to 65 per cent.”
The FCAI has been promoting ATV safety for many years and the safe practices it upholds are also supported by the recent findings of NSW and QLD Coronial inquests.
However, the FCAI does not believe the foreshadowed safety recommendation by WorkSafe Victoria, recognising so called “Operator Protective Devices” (OPDs) as a safety device is a suitable way to reduce the risk of injury during ATV roll over situations as it:
- is not supported by any scientific research concerning the safety of such devices;
- flies in the face of the most reliable research into such devices, which indicates that they can cause as many new injuries as they might prevent; and
- is not in accord with the outcomes of recent coronial inquiries into deaths that were associated with ATV rollovers.
The FCAI’s 5 Star Safe ATV User Guide is one part of a new ATV Industry Strategy to strengthen the capacity of ATV dealers to support and encourage known safety practices to their customers.
“We would encourage safety agencies and rural industry groups around Australia to work cooperatively to communicate and encourage the uptake of the known safety practices,” Mr Weber said.