Summer holidays are a great time for Australians to be active and enjoy the outdoors. In regional and rural areas, this can mean riding an age appropriate ATV.
This holiday period, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is reminding ATV riders that known safety practices, training and supervision will help keep them safer when riding ATVs.
"As the holidays begin, I encourage all ATV users to follow known safety practices when riding ATVs. This includes wearing a helmet and protective equipment, riding the correct sized ATV, not carrying more than the approved number of passengers, not using an ATV on terrain or in applications for which it is not suited, and never riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol," FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.
"The FCAI also stresses that children under the age of 16 must only ride specifically designed and labelled age appropriate ATVs and never be allowed to ride adult sized ATVs. Adults should always supervise young riders and ensure they only ride in areas suitable to their vehicle and skills.
“Users should also be conscious that many ATVs are single rider only vehicles. Carrying passengers, particularly children, even for a short distance can be dangerous.”
Mr Weber also called on parents buying children ATVs for Christmas to ensure vehicles meet the strict American National Standards Institute (ANSI/SVIA) standards for ATVs, which have been adopted by FCAI members.
"Before using a new ATV, parents and children should take time to understand the vehicle by reading the safety manual and watching the safety video provided with the ATV," Mr Weber said. “Parents and children should also undertake training.”
These safety practices are supported by the recommendations of the recent NSW and QLD coronial inquests into ATV safety. In their recommendations, both the QLD Coroner and the NSW Coroner promoted a number of known safety measures that can have a positive impact on ATV safety, including the serious matters of not allowing children on adult-sized ATVs; the wearing of helmets; not carrying passengers on single seat ATVs; and undertaking rider training.
The Australian ATV industry is working with regulators to develop and implement initiatives that can make the Coroners’ recommendations work. This includes mandating helmets, and that workers using ATVs be trained and wear protective clothing.
In addition to this, the industry is working on a number of other positive initiatives that will support the Coroners’ recommendations and aim to further improve safety outcomes further. These initiatives include e-learning and enhanced dealer training.
“The FCAI wishes all ATV riders safe and happy holidays,” Mr Weber said.
For more information on ATV safety, visit www.atvsafety.com.au