Quad bike inquest could lead to law changes

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Equilaw Solicitors and its WHS advisory service Safe Industries Australia are keenly waiting the outcome of a NSW coroner’s inquest into quad bike accidents which could lead to changes in the law around their use.

The inquest, held before Deputy State Coroner Sharon Freund at Glebe Coroner’s Court, has been told that quad bikes were the leading cause of death and injury on Australian farms.

More than 200 people, including children as young as 7 years old, have been killed using quad bikes in the past 14 years.

The inquest will examine the findings and recommendations of a report released by the University of NSW and the causes of eight fatal accidents in NSW.

The coroner is being asked to consider whether:

  • children should be prevented from riding adult quad bikes;
  • helmets should be compulsory;
  • training and licensing should be mandatory;
  • personal locator beacons should be fitted to the vehicles, and
  • an Australian standard for the bikes are required

Safe Industries Australia consultant, Daniel Bowcock, said that employers were responsible for providing training and helmets to their workers required to ride quad bikes.

“Just this week during an on-property training for a client, I was told the use of two-wheel bikes was not an option because they (the employer) would have to provide training to their workers,” Daniel said.

“That really sent the message to me that there is a misconception out there that anyone can just hop on and ride a quad bike.

“When the case is, quad bikes need just as much training, if not more due to their massive weight, as riding a two-wheel motorbike.”

The inquest is due to finish in August.

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