A woman died after a quad bike accident near Marokopa in Waikato last night, adding to a shocking recent tally of quad bike fatalities.
This latest incident marks the fourth fatality officially reported to WorkSafe in just over a month, prompting renewed calls for riders to equip their vehicles with crucial equipment.
In Marokopa, the woman who died was riding on a rural road and her bike was found at the bottom of a hill. Police’s serious crash unit is investigating the crash.
It follows recent accidents in Eketahuna, Stratford, and Ohauaiti, each of them claiming a life over November and December.
Quad bikes are widely used in farming, but they can be unstable and prone to tipping, especially on steep or uneven terrain.
While they might drive like cars, the bikes don’t have safety measures like airbags.
As a result, campaigners have said enough is enough.
Lindy Nelson, the chair of Safer Farms New Zealand, said that riders need to take more care and install safety equipment on their bikes.
“We think experience keeps us safe until it doesn’t,” she said.
“Helmets and crush protection devices we do know save lives, and we’re really encouraging farmers to look at those.”
Some farmers have already taken steps to improve the safety of their quad bikes, such as Dairy Holdings in the South Island.
The company had a fatal accident on one of its farms in 2019, since then it has fitted all of its bikes with speed limiters and crush protectors.
Grazing block supervisor Adam Mielnik said that the equipment had already saved lives.
The company had three bikes tip over since the safety devices were installed, twice due to hidden rocks in the grass, but in all cases, workers were kept safe.
“In all three incidences, no one was hurt, everyone was fine, so it was really good, knowing that bit of kit is just so invaluable.”
He added: “People think it won’t happen to them, but it can, it happened to us.”