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New Zealand’s ATV Safety Programme Working

Media Release

2 October 2012

New Zealand’s ATV Safety Programme Working

Just one recorded on-farm work related fatality to date this year clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of the Government’s approach to the safe use of ATVs (quad bikes).

The Motor Industry Association whose membership includes the major importers and distributors of off road farm bikes, including ATVs, refute the statement by Dr Lower that the industry was adopting tobacco type tactics to block mandating of the fitment of rollover protection (ROPS) for ATVs.

“ATVs are the modern day horse and we estimate there are between 70,000 and 80,000 in use on farms here in New Zealand,” said Perry Kerr, Chief Executive Officer of the Motor Industry Association. “Naturally we are concerned by any accident and especially a fatality involving these vehicles.”

“The industry is not anti-ROPS and in fact already builds side-by-side vehicles (UTVs) with ROPS and accompanying seat belts, so we have much experience in this area. That experience and the research tells us that for the safety of the user, ROPS shouldn’t be fitted to ATV’s”

“There is no evidence to suggest fitting ROPS to ATVs would offer increased protection to users but there is evidence to indicate they may cause more harm” he said.

“The New Zealand industry applauds the stance adopted by our Government agencies where by targeting proven safety interventions the focus is on the safe use of ATVs with the four key messages of

• Riders must be trained/experienced enough to do the job
• Choose the right vehicle for the job
• Always wear a helmet
• Don’t let kids ride adult quad bikes

Just one death that can be directly attributed to on farm use so far this year clearly shows this strategy coupled with increased education and on farm enforcement is working Mr Kerr concluded.


More information including copies of various research reports and findings can be found at

All ATVs imported into New Zealand by MIA members comply with the US Consumer Product Safety Commissions mandatory consumer product safety standard for ATVs: ANSI/SVIA-1-2010 American National Standard for Four – Wheel All – Terrain Vehicle Equipment Configuration and Performance Requirements. This standard was developed by the Speciality Vehicle Institute of America and includes specific approved requirements for pitch stability, operation (such as controls, braking performance and mechanical suspension) and limited speed capacities for all youth sized ATVs.

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