Fianna Fail move could see anti-roll bars and helmets made compulsory on all quads

Stricter controls on potentially deadly vehicles 'long overdue' - TD

There are around 10,000 ATVs in use on Irish farms
There are around 10,000 ATVs in use on Irish farms
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Fianna Fail is to introduce new legislation in the Dail which could see anti-roll bars and mandatory headgear made compulsory on all quad bikes.

It comes as a coroner has called for anti-roll bars to be made mandatory on quads which, he says, are being increasingly used not just on farms but also in industry and as 'fun vehicles' in holiday resorts.

Patrick O'Connor, Coroner for Mayo, highlighted the dangers posed by the 'all terrain', 4x4, vehicles at an inquest last week into the death of Michael Anthony (Tony) O'Malley.

Mr. O'Malley (67), a former employee of Mayo County Council, was found dead by his wife, Catherine, underneath his quad on the family farm at Derrew, Ballyheane, Castlebar, on September 21 last.

The quad was turned on its side at the bottom of a small hill and the victim was trapped underneath.

Fianna Fail TD for Mayo Dara Calleary will launch a new Bill to improve safety on all-terrain vehicles, also known as quad bikes.

There are currently no legal rules in place requiring manufacturers or farmers to have roll cages on their quads. There are also no health and safety rules requiring the mandatory use of protective headgear.

He sayd the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Bill 2018 will make it mandatory for quad bikes to have anti-roll bars and for users to wear protective headgear.

Mr Calleary said that tragically, 15pc of all farm deaths between 2007-2016 were as a result of quad accidents.

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"Evidence shows that the major factors in these fatal accidents were farmers overturning or losing control of their quad bike and being crushed or pinned by the vehicle.  Stricter controls on these potentially deadly vehicles are long overdue.

“There is a clear need for a stronger legislative framework to protect workers, particularly those on farms.

“In Australia moves are afoot to implement similar measures due to the high number of fatalities and injuries arising from quad bike accidents, while states in the US have set minimum age limits on their use.

“It’s important we learn from these sad and tragic accidents to put measures in place to try and prevent them from happening again. 

"The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Bill, which I will be bringing forward next week, sets out the need for anti-roll bars on these vehicles and will legislate for the mandatory use of protective headgear. It will help to improve health and safety standards and will protect workers across the country," he said.

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