New Quad Bike and Utility Off-road Vehicles Rules

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New Quad Bike and Utility Off-road Vehicles Rules

From 1 February 2017, the requirement for the operator and passengers of a quad bike or utility off-road vehicle to wear a motorcycle helmet will be legislated in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management-Road Rules) Regulation 2009 (road rules).

These mandatory helmet requirements already exist and are currently outlined in the Guideline for Conditionally Registered Vehicles in Queensland Form 17. However, these requirements will be transitioned to the road rules from 1 February 2017, and apply to the drivers and passengers of conditionally registered quad bikes and utility off-road vehicles being used on Queensland roads and road-related areas. More information here.

There was a lot of confusion within membership, particularly about who the rules applied to so AgForce asked Transport and Main Roads for some clarity around these rules.

The below is the information that we received from TMR.

Please note:
Despite recent changes the helmet rules are not new. The requirement to wear an approved helmet while operating or travelling on/in a quadbike or utility off-road vehicle (UORV) on a road or road-related area has existed as part of the conditional registration scheme since November 2015.

Who requires conditional registration?

The Conditional Registration Scheme (CRS) is designed for non-standard vehicles that do not comply with the standard regulations for registration (such as tractors, harvesters, off-road utilities, etc.) and have a genuine need to access the road network.

A road can include areas such as railway crossings, areas open to the public for use as a road, and road-related areas - areas that are part of a road and include areas such as footpaths and nature strips.

If a non-standard vehicle is not being driven on a road, and is only used on private property, then it may not need conditional registration. A person may wish to obtain legal advice if there is any doubt to whether an area they are operating their vehicle on is considered a road.

A list of vehicles able to be registered under the CRS can be found here.

How to get Conditional Registration:
To apply for conditional registration, a customer needs to:

  • Complete a vehicle registration application (F3518)
  • Complete a vehicle details inspection sheet (F3529)
  • Nominate their compulsory third party insurer
  • Provide proof of identity such as a current driver's licence
  • Pay the registration costs including the administration fee, CTP insurance and the cost of the number plates
  • Pay the vehicle registration duty
  • Take the documents to the nearest transport and motoring customer service centre, or if the customer lives in a rural area, they may visit a QGAP office, Magistrates Court or local police station that provides vehicle registration services.

How much does registration cost:
There are three categories of road access allowable under conditional registration, these being:

  • Limited access
  • Zone access
  • Unrestricted access

Costs may vary depending on the factors such as the registration term and CTP insurer. In addition, different fees apply to different vehicles depending on which category they are registered under. To find out specific fees for a particular type of conditionally registered vehicle, please call 13 23 80.

What is involved in getting conditional registration:
Some vehicles and condition codes require access approvals to be obtained from the land/road owner as well as the Queensland Police Service to access the road.

It is recommended that these access approvals are obtained before applying for registration as the vehicle may not be able to be used unless the access approvals are held.

Further information about the Conditional Registration Scheme can be found here.

Exemptions from conditional registration scheme:

There are no exemptions from the conditional registration scheme.

In Queensland it is illegal to drive a non-standard vehicle on the road without conditional registration. You may be fined if you don't have registration and if the vehicle is involved in a crash, you may not be covered by insurance.

Whether the age related restrictions relate only to conditionally registered vehicles or all:
The age restrictions relate to all quad bikes and UORVs that are being operated on a road or road-related area, regardless of the registration status of the vehicle.

Although not directly regulated, it is hoped that the restrictions will influence off-road behaviour as well, for example, on private property, and contribute to safer outcomes of users more generally.

More details about the helmet exemptions (i.e. that the main one used for Ag (LO6) doesn't have an exemption):

There are no exemptions from wearing a helmet for riders and passengers on quad bikes.

For UORVs operating under the condition of use code LO3, the driver and passengers are exempt from wearing an approved motorcycle helmet.

This exemption only applies if the UORV has factory fitted seat belts and rollover protection system.

The LO3 condition of use is intended primarily for recreational or maintenance vehicles that operate within a very limited designated area.

Examples of such designated areas include, car parks, resorts, university or hospital grounds. In these very restricted circumstances, it is deemed that a UORV that has factory fitted seatbelts and roll-over protection can be operated safely without a helmet.

No helmet exemptions exist for UORVs operating in areas outside of LO3 designated areas.

The main condition of use code for agricultural vehicles is LO6A, no helmet exemption is provided for this use code as the conditions can vary significantly, for example the terrain can be very varied and the speed environment can be much higher.

The only other exemptions that are available are through the case-by-case issue of a Special Circumstances Permit.

Where wearing a helmet will compromise a person's safety, a written request can be made seeking a Special Circumstances Permit for an exemption from wearing a helmet, or to wear a substituted helmet.

Requests need to clearly explain how wearing an approved motorcycle helmet will impact a person's safety. Exemption requests need to be made in writing to the General Manager (Transport Regulation Branch), Department of Transport and Main Roads, PO Box 673, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006.

Please be aware that issues such as heat or discomfort are unlikely to be reasons to issue an exemption.

A range of appropriate helmets which provide safety while preserving airflow and coolness of the head and allow the wearer to also wear other protective equipment like ventilation masks are available.

There is an increasing number of models that are designed to suit the needs of hot outdoor work in recognition of the need to wear helmets for farming applications.

AgForce recommends that members contact their local helmet supplier to investigate what options may suit their purposes.

Enforcement/compliance regime:
The applicable penalties from 1 February 2017 are as follows:

  • A $365 fine and 3 demerit points may apply for not following the mandatory helmet requirements. This offence will also be subject to existing motorcycle helmet double demerit point penalties. Therefore, if two or more motorcycle helmet offences are committed within a 12 month period, the second and subsequent offence will incur double demerit points.
  • A $162 fine may apply for not following the passenger age-related restrictions.

The enforcement of these rules will be conducted by the Queensland Police Service (QPS). You may wish to contact the QPS for further information about their enforcement regime.

If quadbikes or UORVs are used for the purposes of employment, they are likely subject to Workplace Health and Safety (WH&S) regulations. WH&S requirements state that equipment should be used in conjunction with manufacturers specifications and most manufacturers recommend that a helmet be worn when operating quadbikes and UORVs.

For more information, or to contact WH&S visit this website.

If you require further assistance, please contact Maree Ford, Policy Advisor, Transport Regulation Branch on 3066 2199.

New Quad Bike and Utility Off-road Vehicles Rules

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