Confusion reigns over bullbar crackdown
TOOWOOMBA bullbar manufacturers are waiting to learn why some New South Wales police have deemed their products illegal.
Sales have dropped in the past week as potential customers hear of the crackdown on five-post bullbars, causing alarm within an industry which employs about 100 people in Toowoomba.
Tuff Bullbars is Australia's largest manufacturer of the "five-posters" now maligned among NSW police for being a danger to pedestrians.
Owner Anton Griffiths said requests to speak to those behind the blitz had so far been in vain.
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"It's baffling to us that we have made them for 12 years with no problem from anyone, and suddenly it's a big issue," he said.
"Customers are worried about the direction they're taking so it's affecting orders for everyone.
"We're all in the same boat."
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About 70 per cent of the company's trade is done in NSW. It employs 45 people in Toowoomba.
Harlaxton business Hopper Knocker Bullbars is a smaller operation, with six staff, but has been operating in Toowoomba for 28 years.
Owner Helen Scott said if the way the law was enforced changed, manufacturers and customers needed a grace period to get their safety devices up to standard.
"These same bullbars have gone through all the inspection stations for the past 28 years and always passed, so we assume they're legal," she said.
"All of our products are independently airbag tested.
"We have never had any complaints but a lot of people have told us they have saved their lives.
"If they are going to clamp down, we need a transitional period to change our designs."
- I've had one of these bullbars and saved many hours of being stranded on the side of the road from wildlife jumping out in front of us. They are designed for the outback, not in town or for hitting things that are stationary.
- Tracy Barton
- Composite bull bars (smart bars) will give a similar level of vehicle protection while significantly reducing the injuries to pedestrians. They are also much lighter, reduce fuel consumption and have less effect on front suspension and steering. They can be fitted with winches. All NSW Police vehicles with bull bars use composite bars.
- Neverold, East Toowoomba
- Smart bars may work well against the 40kg joey but I've seen them fold back and dent the cars time after time after hitting a roo. As much as we would like to drive through the day to avoid the wildlife, some of us have to drive at night around Charleville, Thargomindah, Cunnamulla, St George and other outback places most city people have only ever seen on a map.
- Mick Smith
- The last thing you want is Skippy coming through the windscreen. But hit a roo in a modern car with its swept-front profile, or with a smart bar that retains that same profile, and that is exactly where it is likely to go. A young child was killed recently when a roo came through the windscreen.
- RangeResident, Drayton North