I had this forwarded to me and thought some of you might like to have a look for yourselves... Speech: Quad Bike Safety Campaign Launch Mystery Creek 3 November 2010 I’m pleased to be launching this farm quad bike safety campaign today because farming is important to me personally and it’s important to New Zealand’s economy. Being from a farming background, and as the Minister of Labour, I’m very conscious of the human and financial cost of work-related injuries on farming families. A farmer dies every 28 days in New Zealand. A farmer or agricultural worker is injured every 34 minutes. Injured farmers and farm employees can’t work – which has a big impact on farm productivity. When we’re talking about making farming safer, quad bikes are a good place to start. 28% of work-related deaths on farms involve quad bikes. My biggest concern is that these deaths are preventable. Almost all of these injuries and deaths occur due to driver error – whether it’s speed, carrying passengers or loads on unsuitable terrain, or a simple lapse in concentration. Since becoming Minister of Labour I’ve heard calls for helmets, seatbelts and roll-bars to be mandatory and for children under-16 to be banned from riding quad bikes. These calls come from outside the farming sector, and while they are well intentioned, they ignore the most pressing issue. First and foremost, farmers must take responsibility for their own safety, and that of their families and staff. If we had to write legislation to save people from themselves, then we would need to ban cars, swimming and all the causes of heart disease. At the end of the day it is not the general public who are at daily risk of injury, it is those who live and work on farms. The cost of ACC claims from all quad bike accidents – the majority of which are happening on farms – is $10 million a year. There’s estimated to be more than 100,000 quad bikes on our farms. It’s easy to see why they’re so popular – they can go places many other four wheel drives can’t. But although they’re often called all terrain vehicles, they can’t go everywhere and do everything. Quad bikes have limits and we need to respect these limits – and I say “we” because I’m a quad bike rider myself. We also need to respect what the manufacturers say about how the bikes should be used. They don’t write this stuff in the users’ manual for fun. It’s there to stop people getting seriously injured and killed. And what the manufacturers say is that riders should wear helmets and should have sufficient training or experience. They state whether your bike is safe for carrying passengers. And they’re clear that children shouldn’t ride adult-sized quad bikes. Five farm deaths a year involving quad bikes is unacceptable to me. We’ve had three farmers killed in Northland in just the last few months. I want to see that toll come down. Ultimately I don’t want any farmer or farm worker to be seriously injured or killed. The campaign will use the tested formula of road safety campaigns. It will use a mixture of education and enforcement activity to encourage safer practices. It will take place under existing legislation – there are no new laws or regulations being passed. The safety steps being promoted in the campaign are based on the safety instructions included in every quad bike owners’ manuals. It’s common sense that people should pay attention to these instructions. For me an important part of this campaign is the support industry organisations and agencies have shown to the goal of reducing quad bike injuries on farms. Your presence here today demonstrates that support. I commend you for the work you’ve already done with your members and customers to reduce farm accidents. I know most of you are also working with the Department to help spread the quad bike safety message and I thank you for that. I’d now like to formally launch the campaign. And I look forward to seeing it result in fewer accidents and more productive farms.