The scene of the crash near Te Haroto today. Photo supplied
A number of quad bike accidents ending in death and
injury over the holiday period has renewed calls for users to
take greater care when using the vehicles.
On Saturday, Rakaia farmer Andrew Baxter (45) was checking
irrigators when he crashed, suffering suffered fatal
His death followed that of teenager Rowan Cai Parker (16),
who was killed on Boxing Day when he lost control of a quad
bike in South Otago and drove over a cliff, falling 150m on
Seven others have been seriously injured in quad bike
accidents recently, including 6-year-old Ashlee Shorrock, who
suffered broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken collar bone and
was put into an induced coma after the bike which she was on
with four adults crashed in Hawkes Bay.
Today a farm worker was injured when he crashed a quad bike,
also in Hawkes Bay.
The incidents have prompted calls for better safety around
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokeswoman
Ona de Rooy urged farmers to consider their stress and
fatigue levels, particularly during daylight saving.
"It can be as easy as forgetting to check the quad bike
before you head out or making a small mistake when moving
livestock because you're too tired. These can all lead to
"We would like to see farmers make safety a priority in
2013," she said.
But it was recreational users, not farmers, who were not
getting the safety message, said Federated Farmers
spokeswoman for health and safety Jeanette Maxwell.
"Recreational users, quad bikes and alcohol are a cocktail
There were seven fatal quad bike accidents last year - two of
those were recreational users, said Ms Maxwell.
"The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment needs to
look at how it is communicating safety messages to casual
quad bike users. Frankly, no one should be using a quad bike
without the appropriate training and not all quad bikes are
designed to carry two people."
Ms de Rooy said the ministry's quad bike safety campaign
aimed at reinforcing safety messages to reduce quad bike
injuries and fatalities will continue this year. Inspectors
would also be checking how quad bikes are being used and
issuing penalties where there were safety issues.
Chief Coroner Neil MacLean has previously voiced his concern
over quad bike fatalities, saying simple safety messages
around their use could "go a long way to preventing these
utterly unnecessary deaths".
Quad bikes were okay when used for the purpose for which they
were designed but when pushed beyond that, or used by
children, they became potentially dangerous, he said.
"I suspect that the key message is training and awareness
that they're not toys."
Typically, five people will die and 850 will be injured each
year in accidents involving quad bikes on farms, according to
Dec 26, 2012 - Rowan Cai Parker, 16, was killed when he lost
control of a quad bike in the Chaslands area of South Otago
and drove over a cliff - falling 150m on to rocks.
Dec 27 - A Wairarapa man in his 60s suffered broken ribs
after the quad bike he was riding rolled on a muddy hill.
Jan 3, 2013 - Ashlee Shorrock, 6, suffered serious head
injuries after the quad bike she was riding on with four
adults crashed down a Hawkes Bay ditch. The four adults,
including the girl's father and stepmother, were being
treated for serious injuries.
Jan 5 - Farm worker Andrew Baxter, 45, fell from his quad
bike in Rakaia and suffered fatal injuries.
Jan 7 - A 50-year-old farm worker suffered spinal injuries
when he crashed his quad bike in the Hawkes Bay.