Farm tools not toys

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.

4 Responses to Farm tools not toys

  1. Neil says:

    Terribly sad thing to happen. These bikes for adults not kids. However there is a somewhat laissez faire attitude towards kids riding these bikes on farms.
    There seems to be an attitude that it won’t happen to us among parents on farms. When it does happen their response is indefensible as well as heartbreak. Laws are not the way rather parental concern about safety.
    Rural life for children is surrounded by danger- I remember my mum being paranoid about me going close to an gold mining pond.
    Familiarity can breed contempt !

    Like

  2. Mr E says:

    For me it is too soon to be talking about kids on Quad bikes in the media. Simple mentions of it will make the parent feel in contempt and I’d imagine they are suffering enough right now.

    I believe there is a need to educate parents and children about quad safety. But I don’t think now is the right time.

    Perhaps I am being a little soft. I don’t know these people and can only imagine the horror they are living through.

    Like

  3. homepaddock says:

    There will never be a right time to bring this up for family of the dead child. But the proximity to the tragedy might reinforce the seriousness of the message to others.

    Like

  4. Mr E says:

    Never a right time – Perhaps a better time.

    Like

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