THERE are shades of grey in the ATV safety debate, writes ALAN COLLINS
Since announcing that CFMoto would be offering Quadbar, a hoop mounted on a quadbike behind the rider designed to counter risks associated with rollovers, for sale as an optional-only safety device through our dealerships, we have been overwhelmed with support.
This has come from the Government, stakeholders and the broader agricultural community. We have also had push-back from industry counterparts.
Seemingly, as the newest "serious" entrant to the ATV market, there was an expectation that CFMoto would follow the herd and tread the well-worn path towards vocal opposition to roll over protection structures.
Life is not always black and white, but it seems the ROPS debate has become this way - you are either passionately for it or staunchly against it.
While it doesn't feature in the rainbow, grey is a legitimate colour and if you consult a bookshop or Haymes colour chart, you'll find it exists in at least 50 shades.
This is a grey issue to us. Our elected policymakers and industry stakeholders are yet to reach agreement and, until a consensus is reached, we are erring on the side of caution.
Caution to some is fierce opposition to ROPS or to even offering these safety devices - completely optionally - for sale, while caution to us is allowing our end users to make an informed and optional decision based on their knowledge of their conditions and use.
We are not saying the Quadbar will make their vehicle safer, nor are we saying it won't make it safer - that decision will be theirs to make.
Presently, our position is to take no position until 100 per cent conclusive evidence and a formal decision by the Government and industry stakeholders is reached. Meanwhile, we have elected to make this optional safety device accessible to customers who may feel strongly that this can add value to their safety in their specific conditions.
If a customer, who has the best of their conditions and use, is adamant that a Quadbar can aid their safety and that of their staff or family, is it responsible or irresponsible of us to refuse to assist?
There has been plenty of evidence presented against ROPS, and plenty for it. It is highly contentious.
We respect the long-standing position and stance of other brands, which has undoubtedly been devised with the very best of intentions for the safety of ATV users.
We are not pro-ROPS, but we are pro-choice. Until absolute certainty is provided on this matter, we are merely offering our customers an option and the ability to purchase this optional safety device at their request and ultimately their own responsibility.
Have we become a society that does not allow consumers to make individual choices on their own safety?
- Alan Collins is Mojo Motorcycles national sales manager