Limits linked to reduced quad bike death
Australian authorities have put out a series of recommendations to reduce the amount of unnecessary deaths from quad bike accidents, which have killed 19 people so far this year.
The findings of an inquest into quad bike safety by deputy NSW state coroner Sharon Freund calls for; a ban children under the age of 16 from riding quads, mandatory helmets and seat belts, a licensing system and the introduction of quad bike safety ratings.
The recommendations come alongside the latest quad bike fatality figures, which show 19 people have now died as a result of quad bikes in 2015.
The Coroner’s report is also the latest to point to studies on helmet use reducing injury rates in the US.
Five years ago, the US state of Massachusetts became the first to ban children under 14 years riding all-terrain vehicles, with dramatic results.
In the time since the ban, no child under 14 has been killed in a quad bike rollover, while the number of brain injuries in children under 16 has halved.
Speaking at the recent Australian Injury Prevention Network Conference in Sydney, paediatric surgeon Peter Masiakos said the legislation had saved Massachusetts taxpayers about $68 million per year.
But Dr Masiakos said he initially needed Steven Baddour - at the time an attorney-general in Massachusetts and a six-term State senator – to get anything done.
“The industry is very powerful, and it really does take a coalition of advocates of injury prevention advocates to change something, “ Mr Baddour told the conference.
“When we began to pursue this, I chaired the Transportation Committee, which had oversight of this bill, and the industry spent a significant amount of money trying to get us to back away from the bill.
“We just didn't take that, and pushed back.
“They rallied families and parents throughout Massachusetts to say we won't vote for you or re-elect you.
“We said; ‘This isn't about recreational use - it's about saving children's lives’,” Mr Baddour said.