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Federated Farmers and quad bike safety

Media Statement


7 January 2014

Federated Farmers and quad bike safety

Given the tragic death of a child in Southland, Federated Farmers asks the media to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve.

The Federation is an active member of the Agricultural Health and Safety Council and is working to improve New Zealand’s on-farm safety record across the board. This has seen some success over the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

In terms of relative numbers, there are an estimated 100,000 quad bikes on New Zealand’s farms compared to 63,167 road-going motorcycles and 23,298 mopeds (see the grey shaded box in the table at the bottom of page 62).

Solutions to improve quad bike can be complex and if there was an obvious solution that made quad bikes much safer, then we would certainly support it.

The Federation has advocated for safety aids to alert riders if their bike is in gear. This, along with an emphasis on training and the use of age-appropriate bikes, as well as helmet use, is having a positive benefit for safety.

The November 2013 Coronial Investigation by Coroner Shortland recognised the practical realities of using quad bikes in a farm setting.  Indeed, many of the recommendations are current industry practice and that is a good thing.

The fact is that quad bike users need to be trained in active riding techniques, which are required to operate quad bikes safely across rural terrain.

In the case of conventional roll bars, the manufacturers and other researchers have looked at the risks and benefits of fitting these to quad bikes but the outcomes were mixed. 

Quad bikes, just like any other piece of farm machinery and vehicles can be very dangerous and must be treated with respect by anyone operating them.

Online resource:
Quad bike safety: ACC Guide


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