Fo­cus on ban for chil­dren on quads


THE push to ban chil­dren un­der 14 from rid­ing quad bikes has gained mo­men­tum fol­low­ing new re­search sug­gest­ing it would save lives.

The Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics has re­leased re­search into the im­pacts of a 2010 ban in the US state of Mas­sachusetts on chil­dren un­der 14 rid­ing quad bikes show­ing it had led to a mas­sive drop in in­juries and deaths.

The re­lease of the re­search comes just two weeks af­ter the death of a 30-year-old Dar­win River man in a quad bik­ing ac­ci­dent. It was the sec­ond all ter­rain ve­hi­cle death in as many months.

Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Agri­cul­tural Health and Safety di­rec­tor Tony Lower said the US re­search added fur­ther weight to the need for bans.

He said there was noth­ing to stop state gov­ern­ments ban­ning chil­dren from rid­ing quad bikes and prose­cut­ing adults who ig­nored the ban.

He cited the deaths of 40 Aus­tralian chil­dren who have died rid­ing quad bikes over the past 16 years.

Of those 40 chil­dren: 32 died on farms; 25 were rid­ing the quad, 15 were pas­sen­gers; al­most all were on adult-sized quad bikes. Six were rid­ing child-sized quad bikes; 22 were not wear­ing hel­mets; 23 died in rollovers; 11 were un­der five years of age, 11 were aged 6 to 10 and 28 were aged 11 to 14; 29 boys and 11 girls died on quad bikes.

A spokesman for the NT Gov­ern­ment said it had no plans to ban chil­dren un­der the age of 14 years old from rid­ing quad bikes.

“The De­part­ment of In­fra­struc­ture, Plan­ning and Lo­gis­tics is fi­nal­is­ing the Road Safety Ac­tion Plan that was de­vel­oped in con­sul­ta­tion with po­lice and the com­mu­nity that ex­am­ined the causes of our sig­nif­i­cant road safety prob­lems in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and pro­poses pri­or­ity ar­eas for ac­tion, in­clud­ing recre­ational ve­hi­cles,” the spokesman said.

Work will be un­der­taken with po­lice to re­view how recre­ational ve­hi­cles can be made safer for the com­mu­nity.

Quad bikes and off-road bug­gies are not man­u­fac­tured for on road use and do not meet na­tional ve­hi­cle safety stan­dards for road ve­hi­cles (Aus­tralian De­sign Rules).

As such they can­not be reg­is­tered for road use.

They can only be con­di­tion­ally reg­is­tered for work pur­poses where ap­pro­pri­ate con­di­tions are ap­plied, such as speed and lo­ca­tion re­stric­tions and no travel on roads, only per­mit­ted to cross roads.

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