Fine for carrying passenger on quad bike

A man prosecuted for riding a quad bike with children and failing to use helmets has been fined $15,000.

Rangi Holmes was sentenced at the Nelson District Court yesterday for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure his own safety and that of his passenger.

He is believed to be the first person to be convicted for carrying a passenger on a work quad bike.

WorkSafe New Zealand prosecuted the herd manager after he was seen riding a quad bike in the Rai Valley while carrying a child on five occasions between February 2012 and October 2013.

Inspectors did not helmets on any of the occasions, WorkSafe New Zealand said.

"There was simply no excuse for Mr Holmes not wearing a helmet," said Ona de Rooy, the organisation's general manager of health and safety operations said.

"Helmets were supplied at his workplace but he chose not to wear one. A helmet can be the difference between walking away from an accident and suffering a permanent, life-changing brain injury."

Holmes' employer was issued a with a notice in August which prohibited taking passengers on quad bikes and required the use of helmets. While he was supplied with a copy of that notice, he was spotted riding with a child on a quad bike four months later. Holmes and the child were not wearing helmets.

Ms de Rooy said Holmes showed "reckless disregard for safety".

"He is lucky that WorkSafe NZ inspectors intervened before there was any accident."

"Quad bikes are inherently dangerous. On average five people are killed in quad bike accidents and another 850 are injured. They are not toys and need to be ridden with care.

"There was simply no excuse for Mr Holmes not wearing a helmet. Helmets were supplied at his workplace but he chose not to wear one. A helmet can be the difference between walking away from an accident and suffering a permanent, life-changing brain injury," she said.

 

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