The death of another child who was riding a quad bike is another tragedy.
Police are investigating and there will be an inquest.
Both are certain to reinforce what Southland Federated Farmers chair Russell MacPherson says – quads are farm tools not toys.
. . . Quad bikes looked like fun and could be fun but were terribly dangerous machines, especially in the hands of young people, Mr MacPherson said.
“This is a reminder to parents and grandparents, our children and grandchildren should not be on adult quad bikes, it’s that simple.”
Full-sized four-wheelers carried labels from the manufacturer specifying no-one under 16 should ride one.
The adult-size four-wheelers were heavy, powerful machines and needed an adult to control them, Mr MacPherson said.
“You need weight to manoeuvre and control an adult four-wheeler and kids don’t have that.”
No passengers should be carried on a four-wheeler either, unless designed to do so: passengers restrict the rider’s mobility and add weight, making it harder to control and more prone to tipping over.
“This is a terrible tragedy for the family involved, for Southland and farming communities and if anything can come out of it, it will be a reminder that four-wheelers are dangerous and potentially can kill,” Mr MacPherson said. . .
Few if any people would consider letting young children ride an adult 2-wheel motor bike; drive a tractor, truck or digger or use a chain saw.
The same cautious approach should apply to quads.
They are deceptively easy to ride in perfect conditions but they are large, heavy and unstable machines which can be very difficult for experienced adult riders to handle when even something minor goes wrong.