Labor wants law banning under 16s from quad bikes

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As governments look to control every facet of peoples lives. The labor government has set its sights on banning under 16s from adult quad bikes.

The Land reported the NSW Labor Party will consider introducing laws preventing kids under 16 from getting on adult-sized quad bikes as riders or passengers, in the wake of a number child deaths and injuries associated with the vehicle. 

Three people were killed in the past week in NSW, one a six-year-old child, with another child injured.

In the wake of the deaths, Farmsafe Australia, NSW Labor primary industries spokesman Mick Veitch, other NSW politicians from both sides of politics, The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons — including its New Zealand arm — farming bodies and even the quad bike industry itself have called for children aged under 16 to be banned from using adult-size ATVs.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is urging state and territory governments to ban the use of quad bikes by children under 16.

“Quad bikes and kids do not mix,” RACS trauma committee chairman John Crozier said.

“Quad bikes are not toys, they leave very little room for rider error — a lack of judgment, a lack of skill, or even a lack of body mass and physical strength, can result in death or serious injury.”

 The ATV industry and its representative body, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, has called for children to be “kept off” adult-size quads.

“Warning labels on ATVs, safety information in the owner’s manual and freely available industry safety materials have been completely clear about the industry’s position prohibiting children riding adult-size ATVs,” an FCAI statement read.

But the ATV industry made it clear it was not calling for a ban on children riding “youth-size” or “age-appropriate” ATVs.

United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president Adam Jenkins said children helping out on farms was normal practice and would continue.

“What matters is that we create safe options so that kids can still enjoy that farm environment and helping out, but also have a safe environment,” Mr Jenkins said.

“There is a lot of grey area around what the actual rules are and maybe the law needs to change to be more definitive about what the requirements are.

“ATVs do have the manufacturer recommendation that people under 16 shouldn’t be riding them and that anyone that does ride them should be wearing a helmet — but this is not the law.” 

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