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Saturday 20 October 2018

Proposed mandatory use of anti roll-bars on quads may increase risk of injury

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

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said that the use of anti roll-bars on quads may actually increase the risk of injury to farmers.

His comments come as a Fianna Fail bill seeks to introduce a number of measures to increase safety around the use of quads.

Fianna Fail's Dara Calleary had said that the bill addresses a number of safety inadequacies that have been proved to cause death and serious injury in users of quad bikes, in particular, in the past few years.

A number of coroner cases have addressed the absence of safety features on quad bikes that are now used by more than just the agricultural community.

The Bill seeks to introduce a number of measures. The first is that those who use quad vehicles would have to use headgear. However the Bill would also introduce roll bars.

Current regulations stipulates that manufacturers shall ensure that vehicles are designed, constructed and assembled so as to minimise the risk of injury to the vehicle occupants and to other road users.

The regulation does not however contain reference to anti roll-bars and protective head gear.

According to Minister Creed these matters have been examined by both the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and they have concluded that research on the use of anti roll bars on quad bikes has shown that in some cases the risk of injury from use of anti roll-bars may be greater and can lead to a reduction in safety to the user.

He also said that both the RSA and the HSA recommend the use of protective head gear when using quads.

“I fully endorse their recommendations in this regard. The HSA has actively promoted the use of protective head gear and officials in my Department highlight the importance of its use at every opportunity,” he said.


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