Urgent plea after spike in quad bike fatalities

Following three deaths involving quad bikes in just over a week, Safer Farms is urging rural communities to look at how they can reduce the risk of quad bike fatalities. Supplied photo.

“Stop. We cannot lose any more family members.”

That's the message from Safer Farms follow three recent quad bike fatalities, including one in Tauranga this week.

Farmers are being urged to look at how they can reduce the risk of quad bike fatalities after three deaths involving quad bikes in just over a week.

Safer Farms chair Lindy Nelson says three families will have an empty seat at the dinner table this Christmas.

“We’re pleading with the community and the sector to stop and take stock of their farm vehicles. We’re calling on farmers, their families and their communities to stop this Christmas and ask: “how am I con-trolling the risk of a quad bike fatality on my farm?”

In the 19 months from January 2022-July 2023, there were 11 fatalities on farms involving four wheel motor bikes. WorkSafe data shows the majority of fatalities on farms are vehicle-related.

"We need fit-for-purpose farm vehicles that ensure our farmers come home safe every day. We need vehicles that allow our farmers to fail safely. If we put the same amount of energy into farm vehicles that we do into developing state-of-art safety features in our road vehicles, we can save some lives.”

Earlier this year, Safer Farms launched the Half Arsed Stops Here campaign which saw the farming sec-tor come together and accept that it can no longer be complacent about safety on farms.

The Farm Without Harm strategy is a new way of designing risk out of the system underpinned by the vision ‘eve-ryday farming people protect one another from preventable harm’.

“We have an action plan in place to work together to solve complexities of harm on farm, and there has been so much work done around preventable vehicle harm,” says Lindy.

“But lives are still being lost and families devastated. Our farming community is hurting. It is in our DNA to protect one another - this Christmas we must make that happen.”

Safer Farms is calling on all farmers to stop and discuss:

· whether this could happen to you

· what would it mean to your family?

· One action you can take to reduce the risk (chances) of a quad bike accident happening on your farm or with your people

Resources and support materials are available at www.saferfarms.co.nz/manageyourrisks

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