How about don’t drive quad bikes stoned?

November 11th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Banning the use of quad bikes in farming has been raised as a prospect by a coroner in his written findings into five deaths related to their use.

Coroner Brandt Shortland stopped short of including a ban among his recommendations, saying the quad bike was entrenched as a vital farm tool.

Any speculating on such stuff is pretty silly.

Mendoza died after spending at least two days trapped beneath his quad bike when it overturned during weed spraying in September 2010.

He had been smoking cannabis between 30 minutes to five hours before his death.

McInnes was spraying a hilly slope for weeds when his quad bike rolled and crushed him to death in September 2010.

Ferguson died when trapped between her quad bike and an electric fence after trying to tow a trailer of silage up a hill in August 2010.

Cornelius was weed spraying when he was found dead, pinned under his quad bike in September 2011.

He had cannabis in his system consistent with smoking a single cannabis cigarette within three hours of his death.

Van Der Pasch died of a terminal head injury when his quad bike rolled onto his head in September 2011.

So two of the five deaths involved a driving who was stoned while driving the quad bike. I think the lesson is that quad bikes are not dangerous – drivers are.

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Compulsory helmets for quad bikes

January 7th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

The industry guidelines are not, of course, a legal requirement. That, in itself, may be reinforcing a cavalier attitude. Coroners, in voicing their safety concerns, have suggested the likes of full or partial roll bars and laps belts, as well as making the guidelines a matter of legal compulsion. The practicality and impact of roll bars have been disputed by farmers. They may have a point, but the circumstances of the Hawkes Bay accident reinforce the case for the compulsory use of safety helmets and preventing those under 15 from riding them.

Ashlee Petrowski’s plight should prompt the Government to investigate whether the industry guidelines should become mandatory. Such an intrusive step should not be taken lightly. Quad bikes are a vital tool on farms. But accidents will continue as long as there is a lax attitude towards safety. Last year’s toll indicates that education programmes have not been a total success in altering attitudes and dangerous practices.

Recklessness remains a concern. So, too, does the impact of stress and fatigue from working long hours, which the police have identified as a cause of some quad-bike crashes. Whatever the reason, there seems, increasingly, to be little reason for rural areas to be exempt from urban safety standards.

Applying the rules of the road, to private land is a huge intrusion. And as awful as the injuries are to young Ashlee, I’m sorry but can you just imagine farmers being forced to drive around their own properties wearing helmets. Will never ever happen!

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