COMMENTS from readers about last week’s ‘hot helmets’ story, part of the ongoing debate about quad-bike safety, are demonstrating how polarised those with a view on the issue are.
A raft of ‘postings’ on the Farmonline web site ranged from expressing belief in the need for quad-bike users to wear head protection gear, to “nanny state” claims should the Queensland Government, even the Commonwealth, mandate the use of helmets.
Sadly, reports from Tasmania are of a bedside vigil for a young British woman who reportedly is on life support following an accident with a quad-bike when working on a dairy farm late last week.
Safety authorities remain hopeful that 2012 won’t see a repeat of the 23 farm-related deaths involving quad-bikes as the year unfolds.
A Farmonline submission by “Qlander” notes that “a pushbike-type skullcap with a brim and ventilation is what's needed” to safeguard quad-bike users.
It’s a line taken up by “Bushie Bill” who agrees there is a need to invent a better helmet while “PeterT” notes that anyone riding a quad-bike on his family’s property must wear a helmet.
“I have worn a full-face motocross style helmet with sun peak on 4-wheelers since 1985 and, as long as they are white, or light coloured, heat is not an issue,” he said.
PeterT wins support from “quad racer” who makes the point he never gets on his quad-bike without a full-face helmet when racing these machines in all seasons and temperatures.
“ATV (quad-bike) related deaths are occurring on farms, not race tracks where the perceived risk of death/injury is higher,” he writes.
“Helmets do save lives and not wearing them because of the heat is a poor excuse,” “quad-racer” said. “Your Akubra won't save your skull from being crushed,” he added.
And “blahblah” advises: “Let them (riders) choose whether to wear them (helmets),” adding “I think a little bit of discomfort is better than death or disablement.”
Meanwhile “Loc Hey” notes the irony of the “nanny state” legislating to mandate helmets only for a rider to potentially die from heat stroke while the yet-to-be-answered question of how any move to mandate for helmets would be policed continues to concern quad-bike users.
“I can’t see how a helmet is going to save lives (when) moving a mob of sheep from paddock-to-paddock,” “Lamb man” says.
Last word goes to “Realist” who points to the fact that motorists are still being booked for not wearing seat belts after 40 years of enactment.
“The facts are young people will continue to muster on quad-bikes regardless, and property owners will do what they like and bugger (Premier) Anna Bligh,” he said.
“Education is always the most effective solution and enforcement just does not work. If you don't believe that then look at the number of motorists booked for speeding over the holiday period,” Realist said.