Sunday, July 3, 2022

Stats don’t tell full story

Quad bike accidents, both recreational and on-farm, don’t reflect the true statistics, according to Federated Farmers health and safety spokesperson Jeanette Maxwell.

While there were five reported on-farm quad bike-related deaths last year, 45 people were killed on two-wheel motorcycles on New Zealand roads in the same period. However there are more quad bikes in NZ than registered motorcycles and riders must be licensed and their bikes registered and warranted, unlike farm-ridden quad bikes.

“Motorbikes are also ridden on maintained roads surrounded by other licensed road users driving registered and warranted vehicles. There is also a police presence to enforce helmet use and other road safety laws,” Maxwell said.

“While quad bikes are dangerous if mishandled and the farm toll is serious and must come down, we fear that politicians will respond to the media coverage by jumping at ‘solutions’.”

On farms speed was less of a factor than loss of control and rollover.

Maxwell said the consensus on rollover protection was that it took as many lives as it saved.

“Rollover protection changes weight distribution and can also require harnesses to be effective, restricting a user's ability to ride safely.”

Federated Farmers was focusing instead on helmets, education and training with all three needed.

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