Inquiry set to identify safety issues in ATV use

SAFETY FIRST: The use of helmets is being advised for ATV operators.
SAFETY FIRST: The use of helmets is being advised for ATV operators.

WHAT is an acceptable number of quad bike deaths?

The answer to that question is none. And when it comes to injuries, it would be a step forward to see those reduced too.

But how do we address the safety issues around this much-used mode of transport in rural and regional areas?

Motorbikes on farms are a necessity and they come in all shapes and sizes from the fully fledged gator-style utility vehicle fitted with seat belts and a roof through to a bash-about four wheeler.

So banning them completely is probably out of the question. But increasing safety is something that can, and is, being tackled. But the safety measures need to be practical.

The use of helmets is being flagged as an important measure in NSW. It might take a culture shift but if it saves lives and prevents injuries it’s worth it. And how about keeping our children safe? Children love riding motorbikes but they aren’t a toy. There is also a recommendation to prevent children under the age of 16 from using ATVs. 

Interestingly the use of farm bikes and ATVs is something that is often something that visitors will want to take part in.

Let’s face it, riding a motorbike or ATV in the outdoors can be fun. 

But these people need to be kept safe and encouraged to wear the right gear too.

Recommendations have been put to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and findings are set to be released in June.

Let’s hope these vehicles can be used safety and commonsense is put first. 

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Farmers in the Riverina are to be applauded for how they have handled the less than ideal start to the winter cropping season.

The break didn’t arrive on time and small amounts of rain fell on the weekend. However, watching operators get in and meet their deadlines is something that is heartening.

Drive throughout southern NSW and the paddocks in this region are a hive of activity right around the clock.

It will be an interesting year to see what has been sown, or perhaps more fascinating to learn what was left out. The ability of landholders to change their plans and work with the little amount of rain we have had is admirable. 

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