Quad bike poster distracts from the evidence

Not only are quadbike manufacturers resisting the inevitable, they have gone on the attack with posters being distributed that criticise the installation of crush protection devices (CPD)s, safety devices increasingly being recommended by safety advocates, farm safety specialists and government departments in Australia.

According The Weekly Times on 16 June 2011, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Polaris and Kawasaki and others are promoting a safety message through the poster (pictured right).  This position was hinted at in Dr Yossi Berger’s comments on a previous blog posting.

The major rural newspaper reports a curious position that may indicate that criticism of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) may be misplaced.

“FCAI motorcycle manager Rhys Griffiths said it was the manufacturers’ decision to put the posters up, and “we had no part in printing it”.

The FCAI was “yet to go public with our message other than to have the industry position paper available”.” [links added]

There is no mention of this poster campaign on any of the manufacturers’ website mentioned above.

The FCAI may claim not to gone “public” on this poster campaign but the industry position paper is, at first glance, damning of the roll bar options available.  However a close reading of the industry paper on rollover protection structures shows a large number of equivocations and conditional statements.  There also seem to be blanket conclusions from some comparisons of dissimilar ROPS.

The debate continues and seems to be evolving into the public relations arena.  This is very unfortunate as the evidence, the issue of the safety of riders of quadbikes in the workplace, can become clouded by spin.  Up to this point the arguments have been about the research evidence.  The poster is an unhelpful distraction.

Kevin Jones

reservoir, victoria, australia

8 thoughts on “Quad bike poster distracts from the evidence”

    1. Marian, I think this is one of the major negatives of the quadbike safety debate – customer safety. Previously I have commented that consumer protection laws could, in my opinion, be applied to those providing equipment that is not always fit-for-purpose, or at least where safety cannot be guaranteed. The early work of Ralph Nader on General Motors vehicles was just such an example of design not sufficiently considering safety and the use of the vehicle.

      We are in a process of the attitudes of manufacturers being forced to change where the most sustainable change would come from manufacturers embracing change. The companies need to realise that they may have evidence that the quadbikes are safe but that, for whatever reason, the community\’s perspective is that they are not and it is the community who buys the vehicles.

  1. Interesting that Rhys Griffiths states \”“(FCAI) had no part in printing it”. It has the FCAI logo on the bottom left of the poster????
    The real mystery in this matter is why the manufacturers are so vehemently opposed to making quad bikes safer????

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