6 May 2014

Demand for quad bike responsibility

6:52 pm on 6 May 2014

A farming health and safety consultant is demanding farmers take responsibility for safety on their property after a child died following a quad bike crash.

Timothy George MacAvoy, who was four and from Ashburton, died in Auckland's Starship Hospital on Saturday after a crash near Tai Tapu almost a week earlier.

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Inspector Al Stewart said it was a reminder of children's vulnerability when involved with farm vehicles.

Police say the crash occurred on a relative's farm that the boy was visiting with his family.

The boy was riding on a quad bike with an adult when the crash occurred.

The other rider, in his 60s, was also injured in the crash but had been discharged from hospital.

Farming consultant D'Arcy Palmer said such accidents would not happen if adult quad bikes were off limits to children.

"Child fatalities on farms in New Zealand are far too common, and a very sad statistic," Mr Palmer said.

"The New Zealand guidelines are quite clear: no person under the age of 16 is allowed to ride a quad bike, and no pillion passengers are permitted, because they change the centre of gravity."

WorkSafe New Zealand added its voice, saying the farming sector needed to take more responsibility for the problem.

The Crown Agency said there had been a 9 percent reduction in ACC claims for quad bike-related accidents since a safety campaign started four years ago but farm safety remains one of the agency's top priorities.

Five people each year are killed on average in quad-bike accidents on farms and a further 850 injured.

The police serious crash unit is investigating the Tai Tapu crash.