The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons has reiterated its recommendation that children under the age of 16 should be banned from using quad bikes in any circumstances following the tragic deaths of two children in quad bike related accidents this week.
A 9-year-old boy in Sandford, Tasmania, and a 7-year-old boy in Dingup, Western Australia, both died when the quad bikes they were riding on rolled over on Saturday.
Pediatric surgeon Dr Warwick Teague said to use a quad bike safely was a cognitively demanding task.
"Children lack a cognitive ability of decision making in a way that would promote their safety and they also lack the physical strength and size that is typically recommended to be applied to active driving of a quad bike," Dr Teague said.
"Kids and quads don't mix."
Dr Teague said the burden of non-fatal quad bike injuries also needs to be considered.
Over the past 10 years, 700 children have presented to Victoria emergency departments due to quad bike related injuries, Dr Teague said.
"That's one child every five days," he said.
"Children continue to pay the highest price for the dangers that quad bikes pose."
Dr Teague contributed a submission on behalf of the College to a Tasmanian coronial inquest in 2016 conducted by Coroner Simon Cooper in seven quad bike related deaths in the state between 2012 and 2015.
On Monday, Labor's Police spokesman Dr Shane Broad called on the government to urgently consider the recommendations made in this inquest.
The Tasmanian government said the issue of quad bike safety required a national approach and it would not consider making changes to the legislation surrounding quad bike usage based on these coronial findings until new Australian Consumer and Competition Commission recommendations, expected later this year, are released.
Dr Teague said the College supported both national and state action on this issue, however, the delay in action puts lives at risk.
"The ACCC process is a very important one. In that regard it is appropriate that the ACCC process is taken into account but it is also true that the ongoing delay is at the cost of death and injury for both adults and children," Dr Teague said.
"The longer we delay and the weaker any actions that are taken are, the less the positive impact of those actions will be to protect the health and lives of those exposed to quad bike trauma."
Dr Teague said the College supported the work being done by the ACCC to address what the College considers to be an unacceptable level of trauma due to quad bike usage.
"We have advocated over some years now for a broad suite of regulatory and other changes that would improve the safety of quad bike use, which we consider to be unstable and unsafe items," Dr Teague said.
"Quad bikes are inherently unstable vehicles and that instability is evident in low and high speed situations.
"There is research which demonstrates that even a bump to the height of 10 centimetres at low speed can be sufficient to cause a roll-over, such is the instability of quad bikes.
"We certainly avoid the terminology of ATV (all-terrain vehicle) because they are not suitable for all terrains."