The National Farmers Federation put quad bike safety back on the national agenda this week, with a demonstration of operator protection devices (OPDs) on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra.
Quad bikes are a major cause of injury and death on farms.
In 2019 so far, we have had seven quad bike deaths in Australia, two of them young children.
The ACCC found that quad bikes cause an average of six emergency department visits per day in Australia.
Dr Warwick Teague, a trauma surgeon from The Royal Children's Hospital, has spoken out about the children he sees with crush injuries to the head and chest, spinal injuries, leg and pelvic fractures, and abdominal organ injuries from quad bike accidents.
If you care about safety on your farm - the safety of your family, employees, visitors, contractors and you - then you need to care about how and if you operate quad bikes.
Please only allow trained adults with helmets in safe conditions to use quad bikes installed with OPDs, and never allow children to ride on or drive quad bikes.
All of the quad bike deaths in 2019 so far have been from quad bike rollovers.
OPDs don't prevent rollovers but they can dramatically reduce the risk of being stuck underneath a rolled quad bike and suffocating to death.
I encourage every Victorian farmer to claim their $1200 rebate with the Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme.
Each farm business is eligible for a $600 rebate for one OPD or $1200 for two OPDs.
Alternatively, if you want to move away from the use of quad bikes, the $1200 rebate can go towards the cost of buying a safer side-by-side vehicle.
Call the VFF on 1300 882 833 or visit www.vff.org.au/quadbike to claim your rebate.
- David Jochinke, VFF president