New Zealand’s revamped rules on using a farm quad bike and other all-terrain vehicles could encourage Kiwi businesses to reconsider the source of their equipment, according to the Motor Industry Association (MIA).
While the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) permits the use of ATVs on public roads, drivers should meet certain conditions. Customers could better determine the quality and safety of quad bikes by transacting with official distributors.
Quad Bike Safety
MIA urged the Workplace Relations and Safety Ministry to enforce new rules on driving ATVs, such as the mandatory use of helmets and seatbelts. People below 16 years old should also be banned from driving full-size ATVs, while single-seat vehicles should only be used for their intended purpose.
The agriculture sector is among the industries that frequently use quad bikes. Four out of 10 accidents originated from quad bikes in 2017, and so far this year, there has been one fatality from a quad bike accident.
These figures should serve as a reason for farmers to practice better safety when using ATVs, while companies should rethink other options instead of buying used vehicles.
NZTA said that ATVs must be registered and licensed before anyone could take them out on public roads. Drivers should also hold the appropriate license for using one. The agency already requires using safety-approved helmets and a current warrant of fitness, although these requirements exempt farmers.
Farmers may no longer use helmets when driving an ATV at 30km per hour, when they need to use on public roads to reach another farm, according to the NZTA. They are also not required to have a warrant of fitness, provided that the vehicle is registered for farm use.
Whether or not rules may change in the future, businesses should focus on improving ATV safety for their workers. This is possible by only sourcing vehicles from recognised dealers and distributors in the country.