New helmet laws for Queensland quad bikers
THE State's peak motoring body has alerted quad bike riders and passengers to new laws which would soon make it compulsory for them to wear helmets when using public roads or related spaces.
RACQ Executive Manager Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said new mandatory helmet rules which come into effect on November 1 would help save lives.
"Too many Queenslanders are being killed and seriously injured in quad bike incidents, so this is a good first step in improving quad bike safety," Mr Spalding said.
"However we'd encourage the use of helmets wherever possible, particularly when it comes to off-road recreational riders.
"We know quad bikes are an essential part of life on many farms, and it's vital that all quad biker riders are fully aware of the dangers these very capable machines pose if used incorrectly or unsafely."
The law change is a direct result of recommendations from the State Coroner's investigation into quad bike related deaths.
"The Coroner's report shows head injuries account for a third of quad bike fatalities, and in 84 percent of those cases people weren't wearing helmets," Mr Spalding said.
CareFlight Critical Care Doctor Juni Jobson said crews flew to the aid of 87 people injured in recreational vehicle accidents in 2014-15.
"Severe injuries are mainly caused by lack of helmets or other protective equipment, rider inexperience or dangerous behaviour," Dr Jobson said.
"Often riders assume four wheels offer better stability than a two-wheeled motorbike, however, at moderate speeds and on slopes quad bikes are prone to tipping and rolling.
"CareFlight and its crew are fully supportive of this new initiative which will save lives."
The Queensland Government has written to existing registered quad bike owners to advise them of the change, which carries a $282 fine for non-compliance.