Rural Women New Zealand calls for more awareness of farm vehicle safety in New Zealand. Recently, there have been two fatalities from the use of the “side-by-side” ATV vehicles in the South Island. These vehicles have been replacing quad bikes on farm, as they appear to be a safer option to farmers.
“The term ATV is a misnomer, as these are not all-terrain-vehicles, like all vehicles they have their place and they have their limits. The best way to safely use side-by-side vehicles, is to get proper training, and always wear seat belts, even for short journeys” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand.
“Operators of all farm vehicles, such as ATVs, quads, two-wheelers, tractors and utes need to know the vehicle’s capabilities and practise safe riding and driving skills. They need to know how to check their vehicle to ensure it is safe to operate. The best way to achieve this is through qualified training instructors.”
“The time and cost of a training course is a better option than having an income stream interrupted due to being off work, health bills or in extreme circumstances, funeral costs. There are wider costs to consider, as well as the financial ones, such as physical recovery time, the emotional costs of losing a loved one, or watching them cope with the injuries received from an accident.”
RWNZ understands that vehicles are essential tools on rural properties. RWNZ advises operators to choose the right vehicle for the job ahead, taking into consideration the terrain and the load being carried and the actual work required to complete. We also remind people to wear their seat belt and ensure everyone in the vehicle has their seat belt on.
It is essential to undertake pre-ride checks such as “TCLOC” to ensure vehicles are at a safe standard by checking:
Tyres and wheels (including correct tyre pressure)
Lights and electrics
Oil and fuel