With Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping
Consumer Protection welcomes new safety requirements for miniature motorbikes, which strengthen consumer protection for young riders.
Miniature motorbikes are often copies of popular road motorcycles, such as grand prix race bikes or ‘chopper’ motorbikes and are usually about half the size of a full-size motorcycle.
Mini motorbikes might look like toys but because they have an engine or are electronically-powered, they are capable of high speeds – up to 80 kilometres an hour – so proper safety precautions need to be followed. Being able to ride that fast can be a risk to children who may not have rider experience or the cognitive development to operate a vehicle at high speeds, or even remember to put on protective gear.
Between 2005 and 2016 there were 14 deaths in Australia involving miniature motorcycles.
It is important to remember that it is illegal to ride mini motorbikes on public roads.
The new product safety law builds on existing requirements to prevent the supply of unsafe products, by requiring:
- miniature motorbikes to carry a warning statement to guide children, parents and carers about their safe use, including that children should always be supervised;
- miniature motorbikes to be fitted with a speed limiting device so that young or inexperienced riders can develop their skills before riding at higher speeds; and
- regulation of high speed electric-powered miniature motorbikes.
The safety standard excludes:
- vehicles with a maximum speed of 30 kilometres per hour or less, including toys, e‑bicycles and e-scooters;
- smaller motorbikes eligible to be registered for road use; and
- smaller off-road minibikes designed and intended for use by children as a learner or as an introductory minibike.
Suppliers of mini motorbikes have 12 months from when the new law came into effect (18 December 2019) to implement the new requirements.