7 March 2017
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is urging the NSW
Government to ban the use of quad bikes by children, following the
latest death of a six year old girl in country NSW.
The young girl died after a crash on a quad bike being driven by
another 13 year old girl, taking the quad bike toll across
Australia to 115 in the last seven years.
RACS Trauma Committee Chair Dr John Crozier, said since 2001
there have been 231 quad bike fatalities of which 35 (15 per cent)
were children aged 14 years and younger.
"Quad bikes and kids do not mix. We need effective controls to
prevent these tragedies.
"These deaths can be prevented if restrictions are put in place
that reflect the danger that these machines pose to young
"In Massachussets for example, a ban on children under 14 years
riding quad bikes nearly halted deaths, and halved the number of
brain injuries in children."
Despite having four wheels, quad bikes have a high centre of
gravity and a narrow wheelbase, making them unstable.
"Most injuries and deaths involve the bike rolling onto the
rider and this can occur at low speeds," Dr Crozier said.
"Quad bikes are not toys; they leave very little room for rider
error - a lack of judgement, a lack of skill, or even a lack of
body mass and physical strength, can result in death or serious
"This places children at a distinct disadvantage when operating
these vehicles, and this is something the NSW Coroner recognised
when she recommended a ban on under 16s riding quads in 2015," Dr
The Coroner also supported expert recommendations for an
independent quad bike safety assessment program.
Statistics show that there is a strong correlation between the
age and weight of a person injured in a quad bike accident and the
severity of the injuries that they will sustain.
"Surgeons are often on the front lines of these horrific
injuries and we see first-hand the damage caused by quad bikes," Dr
"We must ensure that children are not exposed to death or
serious injury by being given access to quad bikes."
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