Safety experts get together to explore quad bike safety.
Safety experts get together to explore quad bike safety. Contributed

ACCC issues warning on 'dangerous' quad bikes

AN 11-year-old girl and three boys aged between 5 and 12 have tragically died as a result of quad bike crashes in the past 18 months.

Now the Australian consumer watchdog has issued a desperate warning for families to be careful.

Since the start of 2013, 21 people have been killed in quad bike mishaps in New South Wales and Queensland, four of whom were under 13.

In the first four months of 2014, two boys, aged 12 and 9, were killed; the nine-year-old was a passenger.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is calling on riders to wear proper safety equipment if they intend to ride on the Easter long weekend.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said half of the 60 Australian deaths since 2011 involved those riding the quad bikes for fun, not work.

"Quad bikes are not suitable for all terrains," Ms Rickard said.

"They cannot be safely used on all slopes and surfaces.

"Even experienced riders have been injured when their quad bike has tipped or rolled."

She said they can be "particularly dangerous" for children who do not have the size, strength or co-ordination of adults.

"Parents and carers should never let children ride quad bikes meant for adults," she said.