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.