Bullbars (Article)

Submitted: Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 09:51
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Much has been written about potential changes in recent times, including a number of petitions from the 4WD Industry, and a number of posts on this forum.

The following article appeared in the weekend press in Sydney and a read of it suggests there is still a long way to go before any rule changes come into effect, but importantly it notes in the proposed changes that vehicles specifically designed for off-road use will be able to use bullbars of a similar standard to what we have already.

And whilst I don’t suggest we shouldn’t concern ourselves with this proposal, I suspect it will be quite some time before it sees the light of day, and even then I suspect that 99.5% will be unaffected by it.

Bullbars - Newspaer Article

Cheers, The Landy
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Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 10:13

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 10:13
It would be interestring to see the statistics of pedestrian injury and fatalities to see firstly how many pedestrians are killed and injured by Bull bars, and what percentage of the total number of peds killed and injured that is.

Secondarly, to do a comparison of the fatility and injury rate between the same model vehicle fitted and not fitted with a bull bar.

Alternatively, it would be interestring to see the statistics of the effect of animal strikes on vehicles, with and without a bull bars.

I keep seeing lots of stories in the media about the evils of bull bars, but I have yet to see any statistics to back up the claims of people like Harold Scruby that Bullbars are such large problem.

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Reply By: Capt. Wrongway - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 12:23

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 12:23
I've been working in North Sydney for over 30 years, and in all that time, I've witnessed many accidents involving pedestrians. I would have to say that better than 80% of them were caused by the inattention of the pedestrians themselves. They pay little attention to were they walk and now they usually have a phone or music device to their ear and are oblivious to their surroundings. Pedestrians and buses seem to be a big issue, it's a regular occurrence in the city and I've not seen one bus with a bullbar on it.

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Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 13:03

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 13:03
There's a classic clip of a woman madly texting as she walked along.................straight into a low wall and flat onto her face into a large fishpond.

The follow-up is that she is apparently sueing the shopping centre for not having warning signs or something. .......................Only in America??.

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Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 13:07

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 13:07
Just been informed by an pommy visitor that the authorities in London are considering placing padding around the bases of lampposts because texting walkers are hurting themselves by banging into the posts. ..............So it's not only in America!!!!

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Follow Up By: SDG - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 16:05

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 16:05
What about the ten year old over the weekend that was so engrosed in his game boy that he walk off a railway platform? An off duty cop rescued him just before a train was due.
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Reply By: River Swaggie - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 12:52

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 12:52
Until my Insurance Company tells me they will not cover me if i have a bullbar..then i'll change it...

Also there should be a severe fine for idiots jaywalking with neck deep heads up bum...
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Reply By: Wilko - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 16:05

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 16:05
Hi Landy,

Thanks for keeping us up to date. Id have an issue with the proposed changes if you couldn't put a bullbar on a normal commodore or a Falcon cause the farmers would suffer in particular the wife's as they still like a car but like the protection and security of a decent bullbar.

I would expect a severe backlash from the farming sector as once again the bleep s from the city who have no idea and no life experience tries to ram their ill-informed ideas down the throats of decent and hardworking Australians.

I cant believe they are still debating the subject. Cut and dried, Pedestrians need to take ownerships of their action or its going to hurt.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 17:08

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 17:08
Not sure what 'decent and hardworking Australians' has to do with it Wilko but the review has everything to do with maintaining and improving vehicle design rules for the safety of all road users, and that can't be a bad thing as long as all the issues are taken on board (don't see any reason why they won't be - this committee hardly has a poor track record in that regard as far as I'm aware). A review of the need for, effectiveness of, and design of BBs is long overdue if these examples are anything to go by. Well-designed and integrated bars appear to offer some vehicle (and passenger?) protection from light animal strike, but clearly some BBs are poorly designed and engineered (overkill so-to-speak) and probably ought to be 'barred'.

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Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 18:48

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 18:48
The ones shown on the 'wanker' utes in your pix are illegal , have been for some time in WA. They are classified as 4 posters which are only legal on heavy vehicles.

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Follow Up By: Wilko - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 19:03

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 19:03
Hi Disco,

Arent they 5 posters?

Hi Bazooka,

As long as they take into account everyone's concerns, My major concern is that some bullbars allow a roo to roll onto the bonnet then can come thru the window.

A safer design for the driver/passengers is to throw the roo forward.

Unfortunately some bars are sloped backwards and are next to useless. It should be able to survive an animal strike at 110km per hour and not be damaged or damage the car.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 19:40

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 19:40
Hey Bazooka,
My neighbours grandson has a bull bar on his HZ ute just like the one in your pic there but it is just a little smaller but not much.

Mind you he works on a property in the NT. He is just home due to the heat and the wet and Xmas break. heading back shortly.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 19:45

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 19:45
Yep...........They are 5 posters and, like the 4 posters, they're still illegal.

If pedestrians kept to the footpaths, watched where they were going and didn't just walk out onto the road when bleep ed (or sober, demanding right of way), we wouldn't have a problem with bullbars.


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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 19:47

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 19:47
That first photo looks like it's been photo shopped. Look at the size of the top bars, they're about the same size as the headlights.

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Follow Up By: Wilko - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:02

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:02
Hi Dave,

Nope they would be that size, I agree with Dave Pedestrians should be responsible like drivers are responsible for their safety.

Cheers Wilko
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:02

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:02
Agree Dave, or its some sort of 'show' car. Imagine the weight/strain on the front of that vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:23

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:23
Bar design is obviously complex. If possible you don't want an animal to bounce up onto your bonnet and thru the windscreen as you say, alternatively you don't want them deflected under the vehicle. Have had friends in both circumstances, both colliding with cattle (one in a Landrover, the other a Holden SW). The more dangerous of the two accidents was the animal under the 4WD, which caused rollover and but for a slice of luck would have resulted in fatality (driver slipped into footwell as the rover slid upside-down slicing off the roof at bonnet level. He still doesn't know how that happened).
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:39

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:39
With tongue very much in cheek, perhaps someone could design a bullbar something like the oldfashioned "Cowcatcher" as seen on the old steamtrains in the old western movies. They would have to be a bit higher though.

These would deflect the animals/pedestrians off to one side to one side or the other, either onto the footpath or under anything coming the other way.

Can you imagine the noise then.

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Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 21:50

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 21:50
Holy Cr.... They are a bit of an overkill :-)

Must be compensating for some thing :-)

These boys will have to learn to drive if they need that much bar :-) Wait a minute, it would take 200m to turn with that hanging off the front.

Cheers Tony
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Follow Up By: Wilko - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 07:37

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 07:37
Ive had 3 bullbars on my Work Pajero in 3 years.

1st one was a factory alloy, I collected a roo at appox 95km/h. It bent back so that the bar dented the bonnet and broke the grill. It was rubbish.

2nd one was a smart bar, took the 1st impact at 100km/h ok with a roo but it has weakened it so that if i push hard on it, it bends. Was good for 1 impact.

3rd is a Tuff bar and Ive hit 2 roos and a pig It is a 4 poster and does the job well.

Im happy with the current arrangements cause they save lives. Its not like a try to hit them, but if they jump out in front of you, you can never ever swerve, (easiest way to kill yourself).

If some clown in the city is reading a text and walks out into traffic then its not the motorist fault or the bars. Its the pedestrians.

Cheers Wilko
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Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:37

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 20:37
Much has been written about this, another foum is shouting 4WDer's rights etc.

There is a mass of documentation.
on the following web site, the first PDF Australian Design Rule Development Program and Public Comment (click here) makes the distiction and states that the current ADR (Australian Standard 4876.1 2002) for bull bars for vehicles designed for off road would be used.

To save people searching you download theRegulation Impact Statement (click here)

I would also suggest that everyone still keeps up the pressure and fills in the Bull Bars Under Threat This is being run by the National 4WD Association and the 4WD Industry Council and donations are being made for to the Royal Flying Doctor Service for participation (capped at $20,000) This survey is collecting facts as part of the submission to the board.

So the battle is not over but 4WDer's are being recognised.

How they distinguish Urban and Rural is a worry and unclear.

Harolds say on this....

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Reply By: nick b - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 21:23

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 21:23
last week it was bull bars this week mobil phones in car ( a complete ban on phones in cars !!) bloody do gooders
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 23:36

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 23:36
Know what you mean. I can't drive unless I'm using the phone, eating a burger and having a beer. Damn do-gooders seem to think I'd be better off concentrating on driving. How on earth did I survive without a mobile phone I wonder?
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Follow Up By: nick b - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 11:34

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 11:34
how is using hand free phone any different to using radio gps & all the other things that we do when driving, sarcasm will get you nowhere
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 12:43

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 12:43
'sarcasm will get you nowhere'....got a bite out of you though didn't it.

No doubt you, and the many who have already commented in the media, have a point regarding hands-free phones (despite the apparent evidence that they are at best marginally better from a safety perspective - I'd like to see more than tests as proof of that though because anecdotally they would seem far safer). It's your inane inference that people who raise legitimate issues for public discussion are 'do-gooders' (in the perjorative sense) that gets on my wick.

I doubt that authorities will be banning hands-free car phones any time soon, but getting the issues out in the public arena is not only a good thing, it's the duty of the people responsible for road safety in our community (aren't we all?). And the more controversy the greater the press coverage - if nothing else, if discussion of all the issues regarding cabin distraction filters through to just a few of the 'thick skulls' of the mobile-phone using, make-up applying, GPS-on-the-go-ing brigade, they will have achieved something.
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Follow Up By: nick b - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 19:38

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 19:38
I'm glad that i got on your wick , so you think that a phone or not make a good driver or not , next time your on the road just have a look around at the drivers around you . not all will have a phone in their ear . but i bet you will see some ....... drivers . but i jess that wont be you ? "SARCASM"
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 13:50

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2011 at 13:50
...so you think that a phone or not make a good driver or not...

Not the case at all Nick, have another read of what I've written. We've all no doubt seen the effects of people driving while talking on the phone (let alone dialling, texting etc). Their concentration on the road and other motorists is INVARIABLY poor from my experience (yet for some reason talking on the UHF/CB seems not to have the same effect from what I have observed. Interesting that, perhaps it's not the case in reality).

If it's that important you take a call then either get a hands-free (still risky according to the experts ) or better still pull over and let the rest of us travel as safely as practically possible. A few minutes of your time off the road to have a chat isn't too much to ask - especially when the alternative can, and HAS, lead to numerous deaths of an innocent people. Most 'phone drivers' severly underestimate the effect on their driving and concentration - frankly, it's time they woke up.

'A study commissioned by a leading UK insurance company, Direct Line, revealed that talking on any cell phone while driving is so mentally distracting that it is as dangerous as driving when slightly over the legal blood-alcohol limit. (In Britain, the BAC limit is 0.08%, the same as in the U.S.A.)'

Above is but one of many studies which all return similar findings. Ignorant comments like you made almost always gets on my wick so don't take it personally.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 22:48

Monday, Feb 07, 2011 at 22:48
Well done Mr Gary Retalick (spelling??) (Smartbar) saw a business opportunity and went for it. If I was a pedestrian I still would rather keep my concentration on the traffic if I was crossing a road rather than rely on the front of a vehicle weighing maybe a tonne or more being designed to protect me, frontal protection bar or not. Some months ago a pedestrian was killed after walking in front of a truck not fitted with a bar of any type. From memory there were road works being carried out at the scene of the fatality and the truck in question was only travelling at something like 25-30 klm/hr. While I suspect no sane motorist goes out in the morning with the thought of injuring or worse any pedestrian unfortunately these accidents do occur and the sad fact is the impact of a tonne or so of metal and relatively (as compared to the human body) hard plastic even at moderate speed is not going to end in a favourable outcome for said human body. I guess Mr Scruby is passionate about his point of view and good on him for that but just maybe a bit more passion about education and a little less flowery rhetoric may win him a few more supporters.
From the motoring publics point of view could we maybe refrain from the term "Bullbars" and find a description a tad less macho. Even the bars on the front of those "B&S" utes are highly unlikely to provide a lot of protection in the event of a collision with several hundred kilos of T-bone on the hoof.

Just my 2 bobs worth

Cheers Pop
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Reply By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 09:44

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 09:44
I think that most of the arguments have been canvassed and are well understood, although I do understand emotions can run high given this is a hot topic for many (most) of us!

My purpose in posting the newspaper article, apart from trying to keep those interested updated, was to highlight that draft legislation still seems to be some time away.

The composition of the current Federal Parliament, with the balance of power held by country Lower House Members will make the current Federal government think very hard about introducing this controversial legislation, they’ve got enough fires to put out without starting any more. Which means one of two things, it will be ‘toned’ down to ensure it is acceptable to 99.5% of people who currently have or intend to fit a bullbar or they will relegate it to the too hard basket for the foreseeable future. And I’d be willing to back either view....

Mind you the four-wheel drive associations should disassociate themselves from the type of bar shown on the utes in the photos posted above. They don’t help our cause at all, especially the 99.5% of owners of four-wheel drives with bars fitted that are fully compliant with current rules and regulations.

And a note on Harold Scrubby as he is invariably linked to this issue; like him, hate him, or whatever your position is you must give him his dues for being able to muster the media interest in his case and he articulates his position well, whether we agree with it or not.

And whilst the various four-wheel drive associations, including the after-market parts industry are running petitions it might be good to see them ‘vocalising’ a lot more in the media about the issue. Perhaps next time Harold espouses the view that bullbars kill pedestrians it might be useful for the National Four-Wheel Drive Association to highlight that inattentive pedestrians are usually the problem, not the bullbar, especially given that in a great majority of pedestrian injuries and fatalities result from a vehicle without a bullbar fitted.

We need to do this ad nauseum because as Harold Scrubby has demonstrated, the strategy of chanting the same ‘mantra’ constantly does work...collectively the National Four-Wheel Drive Association and the After-Market Parts Association need to take him (head-on) on at the same game!

Cheers, The Landy
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 13:31

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 13:31
Just to further advance the discussion on media and public awareness by the Australian National Four Wheel Drive Council. I visited its website and could not find any discussion or reference to the bullbar debate, and if it exists on the website please post it. Neither does there appear to be any information available to a casual visitor such as ‘Joe public’ who might be interested to hear the Council's views and its arguments as to why its members should be allowed to have them.

In contrast, a visit to the Pedestrian Council (Harold Scrubby’s) website reveals in media links the very article I posted at the beginning of this thread, cross-reference to a photo of a Holden Ute with a bullbar that has no place on vehicles of this type. Additionally, there is a link at the bottom of the page that takes the reader to photographs of numerous Utes with bullbars that should be banned.

Let’s face it, there are some out there, especially on Utes that have no place on our roads, should be banned, and are not reflective of what 99.5% of recreational four-wheel drivers have on their vehicles.

What is being portrayed on the Pedestrian Council website is not an accurate picture of four-wheel drives vehicles in Australia fitted with bullbars, yet anyone with little more than a casual interest would see this and almost certainly agree that (all) bullbars should be banned. His site quotes research indicating that there is evidence that bullbars cause more injury than would have been sustained in the absence of one being fitted. But fails to point out the bleeding obvious that in many cases the pedestrian had actually caused the accident by failing traffic signals, or crossing in an unsafe manner. But he doesn’t have to let facts get in the way of his story, especially when no-one is questioning it or his authority.

Petitions are great, but all they do is tell the government of the day that those who have them are opposing any changes, as you would expect. A more comprehensive media awareness program by the Council may well prove to be an effective defence. Have a good look at how effective Harold is at advancing his views and ideals...this is what we should be doing!

And as a footnote...I acknowledge there are numerous clubs and associations who are discussing the issue and endeavouring to ‘get it out there’ what we need is a media spokesperson to represent the industry’s views, regularly.

Pedestrian Council - Bullbars

Cheers, The Landy
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 10:28

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 10:28
Yes ............ good post Landy.

My main concern with all this is that if it does come about, the legislation will be just as flawed as the drivel the NSW govt dished up in the form of the "abandoned" VSI 50 nonsense.

A blanket rule with no consideration to the variations e.g.

My airbag control is located under the passenger seat and ... there is no crush sensors .... so a 5' length of rail line welded across the front of the vehicle wouldnt affect the airbag operation as its impact speed controlled.

I think theres a need to address the bar types as well.

I normally fit as close to a 4poster style as I can, as it gives height and the "cow catcher" protection I want on the open road. The 11m ADR visibilty rule is not an issue to me as I like to look & see a damn sight further than that up the road when Im driving and anything 11m in front me, was seen at the 12m .... or much further, point.

Not a fan of the B&S ball showboat bars tho .... would have to put bigger gates on the paddocks .. and I always have mind pictures of a late model ute with one after a prang .... I reckon there would be the bar, some concertinaed metal ... and a tailgate ...... LOL

Many are fitting the newer style "rock crawler type" with "good approach angle" ..... which in my case would invariably lead to damaged suspension components at highway speed ... and worse case, a roll over from "climbing over" what goes underneath.

Certainly not my style choice for highway or wombat territory.

And then theres the city slickers .... who I actually support in their need for additional frontal protection ... as the cost of repairs to vehicle components in minor bumps and scrapes is ludicrous .... but the bar type should be relevant to the conditions and expected city type events.

Of course if the vehicle manufactures could guarrantee 90% driveability and passenger safety (windscreen visitors) after a 100kph roo strike ..... and offer front end repairs for the $700 max price of the bar I fit .... I would happily forego any more "bullbar" purchases.

X 2 on mantra chanting like the propaganda waffling antagonists .... play their game and beat them I reckon ..... and maybe even start applying for the same govt handouts & grants they do ... for campaign funding.
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Reply By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 10:58

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011 at 10:58
An overview of ADRs and the consultation process (no more than a minute's reading): Australian Design Rules
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