News

Call to hold summit on quad bikes

by
March 19, 2017

A six-year-old girl has been killed and a teenage girl has head injuries after the quad bike they were riding crashed into trees on a farm in north-west NSW.

A six-year-old girl has been killed and a teenage girl has head injuries after the quad bike they were riding crashed into trees on a farm in north-west NSW.

The girl’s death has prompted the NSW Opposition to call for an urgent bipartisan summit into quad bike safety.

More than 109 people have died nationwide in the past six years in quad bike accidents.

Police say the six-year-old girl was riding on a quad bike with two 13-year-old girls at a Pilliga property, west of Narrabri, on Sunday, March 5 when it left the private roadway and hit two trees.

The girl died at the scene. The injured teen was airlifted to Sydney Children’s Hospital, while the other girl was unharmed.

A second quad bike was being ridden by two other 13-year-old girls, police said.

None of the five girls lived at the property.

Officers from the Oxley Crash Investigation Unit are trying to find out if any of the children were wearing helmets, police said.

This death follows a January accident in the Riverina when a seven-year-old boy died on a farm after a quad bike he was riding with a nine-year-old friend flipped and fell on top of him.

Sixteen months ago a NSW coroner investigating quad bike deaths called for a safety-rating system for the vehicles and for an all-out ban on children under 16 using adult-sized quads and side-by-sides.

Deputy State Coroner Sharon Freund presided over the long-running inquest into the deaths of nine people killed in NSW between 2009 and 2014.

Handing down her findings last November she said quad bikes were the number one killer of workers on Australian farms.

Since her report, another seven people have died in NSW as a result of quad bike accidents, Labor’s primary industries spokesman Mick Veitch said last week.

Following the death of the seven-year-old boy on the Barellan property, near Griffith, the National Farmers’ Federation said rollovers accounted for more than half of adult quad bike injuries and deaths.

‘‘They’re serious pieces of machinery, they are not toys,’’ NFF workplace relations general manager Sarah McKinnon said.

‘‘This is the problem; people don’t always understand the dangers that come with a piece of equipment like a quad bike.’’

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