11 Jan 2015

Children being put at risk - KartSport NZ

3:39 pm on 11 January 2015

More and more children are getting access to off-road go-karts which can be too powerful for them, KartSport New Zealand says.


KartSport New Zealand described yesterday's death as a tragedy. Photo: ST JOHN NZ

A nine-year-old boy died after the kart he was driving rolled near Ahipara on 90 Mile Beach in Northland yesterday.

KartSport New Zealand National President Graeme Moore said the death was a tragedy.

He said while there were not many details about the crash, there was a problem with young people getting access to cheaper karts.

"More and more young children are being given access to vehicles that are probably more powerful than what they're used to and are used in an unmonitored situation," he said.

"There's no control, as I understand it, for unmonitored leisure karting and therefore it can be highly dangerous."

Mr Moore said KartSport New Zealand activities took place on sanctioned tracks with strict safety regulations.

The crash has drawn attention to the lack of regulatory controls over go-karts.

Powerful and potentially dangerous go-karts are available to buy on Trade Me and elsewhere, and can be given to children.

But neither the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, nor Worksafe New Zealand say they have any responsibility over them.

The Transport Agency could have the authority to investigate this case, because beaches are often classified as a road, but at this stage it was not clear.

The boy's death will be investigated by the coroner.