Govt must engage on quad bike safety
Concerns around quad bike safety, sparked by a number of serious crashes this summer, should be acted on, says Labour’s Transport Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.
Senior coroners have repeatedly raised concerns about quad bike safety, but the Government has ignored their warnings, and actually reduced safety requirements including scrapping the need for a warrant of fitness for vehicles travelling under 40 km/h.
“I suspect National’s policy in this area is motivated by supposed political and economic benefits rather than out of a concern for safety,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.
“In August 2012 National’s Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced a number of measures relaxing safety regulation in the agricultural sector in order to achieve better compliance on our farms.
“That goal remains to be seen. But with five Kiwis injured in quad bike crashes in a matter of months, safety concerns need to be addressed.
“Mandatory helmets, lapbelts and roll bars are some of Wellington coroner Ian Smith’s suggestions.
“While the Government has required new agricultural vehicles to use a flashing amber beacon this doesn’t affect the vast number of already registered vehicles or the large number of quad bikes used - not just on farms - but for recreational purposes.
“Everyone understands that farmers work long, irregular hours on difficult terrain. But a true culture of safety has to start in our own back yards.
“The Government needs to take a look at the events this summer and engage with those concerned about safety. Quad bike accidents are preventable when safety comes first,” Iain Lees-Galloway said.