AN URGENT need to improve the safety of quad bikes has been raised by Employment Minister Bill Shorten after 15 deaths on the bikes this year.
The minister has recently released key findings from a discussion paper on what needs to be done to improve quad bikes sold in Australia.
Among proposed changes is the need for crush protection devices attached to quad bikes, as well as mandatory use of helmets.
The proposals come after years of debate in regional and rural communities about the merits of roll cages and other safety devices.
Mr Shorten said the designers and manufacturers of quad bikes needed to improve design to minimise rolling, as well as create better roll cages.
"We are keen to bring manufacturers along with us in this process and it is pleasing to see that since our forum in October some quad bike manufacturers are now playing a positive role in offering to fit crush protection devices as a safety feature," he said.
"For the users the responsibilities are to wear a helmet, not to carry passengers and not to let children ride quad bikes."
About 20% of deaths involved children under 16 years of age.