By Kath Gannaway
Death and injury from quad bike accidents are increasing on farms, prompting a call for a review of safety measures.
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is backing a call by the National Farming Federation for a five-star safety rating system.
The NFF estimates there are 200,000 quad bikes on rural properties in Australia.
RDAA president Dr Ewen McPhee said quad bikes were one of the leading causes of on-farm fatalities in Australia.
He said that in 2015 and 2016 quad bikes accounted for the highest number of farm death and injuries overall.
“Currently, there is conflicting information available to farmers when purchasing their quad bikes as to the effectiveness, and even safety of protection items such as crush protection devices (CPDs),” he said.
“Much of this information is provided by the manufacturers, and there is currently no independent information provided on safety when buying a quad bike.
“As rural doctors, we see the devastation caused by the death or serious injury to the families and communities affected by on-farm accidents.
“Too many of these deaths are of children, and their parents did not have a sufficient understanding of the level of risk involved in allowing them to operate quad bikes.
“There is no such thing as a child appropriate quad,” Dr McPhee said.
“We wholeheartedly support the NFF’s call for a safety rating system, to allow consumers to make informed buying decisions and to protect themselves and their loved ones”