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Unsafe Bicycles Targeted by National Product Surveillance Operation

Australia (News4us.com) May 20, 2011

Unsafe Bicycles Targeted by National Product Surveillance Operation

Unsafe Bicycles Targeted by National Product Surveillance Operation

A new national product surveillance operation carried out by the ACCC in conjunction with state and territory consumer affairs agencies, has uncovered a number of unsafe bicycles being offered by retailers to the general public.

In an official compulsory safety feature survey that spanned over 80 retailers and included the inspection of over 300 bicycles, including the condition and operation of brakes, chain guards used to protect the cyclers feet and legs and reflectors, allowing passing vehicles to easily see a cyclist in transit.

Written instructions for assembling bikes which is mandatory within Australia was also inspected.

Peter Kell Acting ACCC chairman, said out of the bicycles surveyed, 41 breaches of the mandatory standard were found.

“As a result, eight bicycles were recalled and a number of suppliers were required to rectify breaches to ensure their bikes were compliant with the national standard.”

Bicycles that were deemed unsafe can cause serious injury in the hands of the novice and inexperienced rider. The bicycle safety survey made it apparent that retailers and their employees needed to better familiarize themselves with the mandatory safety standard.

Product recalls and legal action leading to sizeable penalties would be enforced by the ACCC towards any company or individual retailer not adhering to the strict mandatory bicycle safety guidelines.

The mandatory standard for bicycles, which addresses compulsory safety features, labelling and instructions is considered extremely important as it contributes to the all round safety of both cyclists and pedestrians.

These mandatory standards for bicycle suppliers are covered by Australian law and encompass manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers alike.

Partially assembled or unassembled bikes are not exempt from the normal standards.

The ACCC also urges consumers who are buying a bicycle to consider the following safety tips.

  • If you are purchasing an assembled bicycle, ensure that it has the mandatory safety features like protective guards, reflectors, brakes and a warning device.
  • If you have bought an unassembled bicycle (e.g. a bike in a box), or even if it has been partially assembled, you should:
    • make sure that there are clear and adequate instructions
    • ensure that the parts include the abovementioned safety features
    • have a bicycle mechanic inspect the final assembled product to see if it has been put together according to the manufacturer’s instructions and is in safe working order.
  • When buying a bicycle for a child, at least two braking systems are required and one of them is a back pedal brake.
  • the bike should have an identification number that is clearly legible and permanent.
  • For information about using bikes safely contact your local road traffic authority.

For further information about the standards administered by the ACCC please visit www.productsafety.gov.au, call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or follow them on Twitter at @ProductSafetyAU. For further information about recalled bicycles visit http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/952906


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