Warning for parents: Quad bike dangers these school holidays

THE death of a man in a quad bike crash in Lancelin is one of three WA fatalities this year that has prompted Consumer Protection and Worksafe to warn parents of the dangers of the off-road machines ahead of school holidays.

A man in his 40s died in August when he crashed while riding in sand dunes near the coastal town.

There have been 15 deaths from quad bike crashes Australia wide in 2015. No riders were killed in WA last year.

Acting Consumer Protection Commissioner Gary Newcombe urged parents to be wary of risky behaviour children and teenagers often took while riding the vehicles.

“Children under the age of 16 are at greatest risk, so the warning we want to drive home is that children must never ride quad bikes intended for adults – either as drivers or passengers,” he said.

“A quad bike ride can quickly turn into a tragedy even for experienced adult riders, but children don’t have the physical or cognitive capacity to operate these vehicles safely.” A six-year-old boy died when the quad bike he was riding rolled on a farming property near Southern Cross in April.

Just a week later, a 67-year-old man died in a farming crash near Bruce Rock.

WorkSafe WA commissioner Lex McCulloch said quad bikes were Australia’s leading cause of farm accidents.

He said they were of particular danger when ridden on uneven terrain or at high speed when carrying heavy loads.

“Quad bikes can readily roll over and cause serious injury or death to operators,” he said.

“Many of the deaths and injuries are caused by crushing between the quad bike and the ground or other surface, while others occur when operators are flung onto hard surfaces in a crash.

“Accidents can also happen when the tyres are under-inflated or inflated unevenly.”