NFF calls for ATV action

18 Jul, 2012 07:25 AM

THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has called for government action on quad bike safety to coincide with National Farm Safety Week.

NFF president Jock Laurie said solutions such as roll-over protection or crush protection devices were needed to address the increasing number of fatalities from quad bike accidents on Australian farms.

The number of fatalities this year was brought to 10 last week, when a 13-year-old girl was killed near Wollongong, NSW.

“The safety of our farming families and farm workers is of upmost concern, which is why the NFF and our members are now calling for a focus on practical solutions to help address quad safety concerns,” Mr Laurie said.

“The Government has recognised this need; just last week it convened a meeting of government, industry, unions, community groups and farming organisations, including the NFF, to improve quad bike safety. Minister Shorten announced on Friday a new initiative, QuadWatch, to help provide information and strengthen community networks around quad bike safety issues.

“The NFF supports this initiative, but we also believe more needs to be done to ensure the safety of our farming families and farm workers, which is why we’re calling for a focus on solutions like roll-over protection or crush protection devices.

“Research is in the pipeline on crush protection devices – and if this research shows that they decrease fatalities and injuries, then we will very strongly support them,” Mr Laurie said.

National Farm Safety Week, an initiative of FarmSafe Australia and its members, including the NFF, runs until this Friday 20 July. National Farm Safety Week aims to raise awareness of farm safety issues and help reduce the risk of injury and illness. For more information, visit

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Ian Mott
18/07/2012 9:13:20 AM

Could someone explain the official rationale for excluding quad bikes from being registered for on-road use? How can four wheels be more dangerous than two? It doesn't make sense. Can anyone help?
A rider
18/07/2012 10:54:17 AM

The journalists that write these ATV related death articles always seem to be extremely selective with the facts and repeatedly fail to omit important details that would assist their readers make there own informed decision on the topic. In this unfortunate example, there were actually 4 kids riding a 700cc ATV when the accident occurred. Sharing the facts might save more lives than lobbying to ban a machine. There are more horse related deaths and injuries each year than those on ATVs but does anyone call for a nation wide horse cull or ban from riding them?
18/07/2012 11:49:05 AM

NFF should not be advocating more laws and legal requirements against our free rights to use bikes on private property. There are already devices available for use if people want to. We don't need to be told to fit them. It should be our choice. Sure run a campaign and highlight the dangers but don't mandate fitment of a roll over devices. I am sure most users already know how dangerous they are, we don't need money wasted to tell us this. Two wheeled motor bikes are more dangerous than quads. I thought NFF was on the side of farmers? We don't need to be protected from ourselves.
18/07/2012 11:58:11 AM

More people are killed crossing the road in Australia every month than are killed from Quad accidents. More people are hurt in the bath tub than people on quads. Are we going to mandate wearing of helmets for all pedestrians in case you are hit by a car? The NFF needs to but out and let us run our own farming operations. All that will come from this is more litigation and loss of freedom for us all. Accidents happen even with the best training and safety devises, people need to realise that some things in life come with risks.
straw chewing redneck
18/07/2012 2:00:24 PM

Has Jock got mates in the roll bar manufacturing industry ? because he has no idea about quads.
18/07/2012 3:33:17 PM

Farmers need the NFF like a hole in the head. Look what happens when they spend too much time in Canberra.
18/07/2012 9:09:45 PM

Quadwatch? Is that anything like Frogwatch? Geez you're a boofhead Jock!
Sir Les P
19/07/2012 6:22:47 AM

Jock you check with property owners before mouthing off about this & i don't mean just Agforce. Stupidity is a factor you need to take into account.
Jock Laurie
19/07/2012 7:02:21 AM

In response to the comments, I've been using quad bikes on my farm at Walcha, in very steep country, for many years (& trikes before that) so I do understand the situation, and the bikes involved. The issue is this: either we do something as an industry to address the issue of quad bike safety - or the Government will. The Govt is currently looking at legislating - it will be far better for farmers if the manufacturers act voluntarily, rather than have Govt intervene. We're simply calling for all options to make quad bikes safer: to minismise the risks for our families & our workmates.
19/07/2012 9:18:35 AM

Thanks for that Jock. You have just quoted the two stock standard options that quintessentially defines the NFF. (1) – voluntary uptake, or (2) – the Government will intervene. Apparently there is no room for option (3) or perhaps the Elephant in the room. Option (3) – put the undiluted facts on the table and let them speak for themselves and let the political penny drop where it may.
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