Quad bike safety starts with kids

QUAD SAFETY: Karen Baines has taught son Ben some safety measures when riding.
QUAD SAFETY: Karen Baines has taught son Ben some safety measures when riding.

Eyre Peninsula farm safety consultant Karen Baines says children will be the ones to continue safety measures into the next generation after the federal government announced a new law for manufacturers of quad bikes.

Manufacturers are now required to install operator protection devices to all new bikes within the next 24 months. The devices aim to give users space under a quad bike in the event of a rollover.

Mrs Baines said nothing was a fail-safe, and educating children on safety was key.

"I think the introduction of mandatory crush protection devices at sale is a good move...but there are other actions you also need to take, such as helmets, competency and situational awareness of the rider," she said.

"I think it's important to have the children learn right from the word go, 'this is how it is'.

"Across Australia, tractors are still the leading cause of death and injury on farms, but closely followed by quads.

"Statistics for children killed on quads is usually due to the child riding an adult sized quad....they are far too heavy for children."

Mrs Baines said inexperienced rider courses were a good idea, but skilled riders died in quad accidents too.

"No safety measure is a fail-safe, but if you have nothing, then you are really dicing with death or serious injury to yourself or your kids," she said. Mrs Baines said there was also some uncertainty around retrofitting the device on old quad bikes.

"Part of the problem with the manufacturers was that fitting a crush protection device voided your warranty on the bike, so farmers wouldn't fit them...that to me was the biggest issue so now they will be mandatory for the manufacturer at sale."