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Quad bike fatalities prompt safety warning

 Ag and Environment
 Saturday 20th April 2019
 Dimboola Courier
 File Photo

Quad bike fatalities prompt safety warning
It is unfortunate that it is the recent death of two children in quad bike accidents just over a week ago that has again brought the topic of quad bike safety to the fore.

These recent deaths occurred in Western Australia, where a 7-year-old boy died, and Tasmania, where a 9-year-old lost his life.

The Victorian Farmers Federation is urging all farmers to take extreme care when using quad bikes or to consider using safer alternatives.

“It is hard to imagine the pain and devastation for the families, friends and communities of the two young boys that died in quad bike roll-over accidents last Saturday,” VFF President David Jochinke said.

“These deaths bring the total deaths from quad bikes in 2019 to five. Three of these have been children, and four of these incidents have been the result of quad bikes rolling.

“If you choose to continue using quad bikes on your farm, you should not allow children under 16 to drive or ride as a passenger on any adult-sized quad bikes,” he said.

“These vehicles are simply too heavy and dangerous for children. Please always wear a helmet and ride slowly and sensibly”.

Mr Jochinke said that all Victorian farmers can take advantage of the quad bike safety rebate scheme. Each farm business is eligible for a $1,200 rebate, which can cover half the cost of two crush protection devices.

“Alternatively, if you want to move away from the use of quad bikes on your property, the $1,200 rebate can go towards the cost of buying a side-by-side or small utility vehicle,” he said.

In less than three years, the rebate scheme has received over 4,400 applications and saved Victorian farmers almost $4 million.

Farmers wishing to apply for the rebate can contact the VFF – by calling 1300 882 833 or going to https://www.vff.org.au/quadbike to apply for the rebate online.

Every one needs to be on top of safety when using quad bikes.
Data from Safe Work Australia shows that it is not only children who are dying as a result of quad bike accidents.

The fatalities in 2019 to date include:
  • 35 year old male - rollover - Tasmania
  • 10-year-old female - collision - New South Wales
  • 69-year-old male - rollover - New South Wales
  • 7-year-old male - rollover - Western Australia
  • 9-year-old male - rollover - Tasmania
Alarmingly, Safe Work note that in only 10% of fatal accidents it is known that the victim was wearing a helmet. In 58% of cases the victim was not wearing a helmet, and in the remaining cases it is unknown.

Around half of fatal accidents occurred while the deceased was working, highlighting that accidents can occur in both work and recreational situations.

None of the 128 fatalities included in this Safe Work data (covering the period 2011 to 2018) mentioned any form of rollover protection on the vehicle.

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