THE time for action on ATV deaths has arrived.
ATV manufacturers, ATV owners and operators and governments must now accept ATVs in their present form are not as safe as they could be.
We need change before another life is lost.
The weekend death of Murchison man Terry Sadler tragically demonstrates the potential danger of operating ATVs.
Mr Sadler was seemingly carrying out a function performed by thousands of people, particularly farmers, each day.
Yet he lost his life.
There are myriad reasons and theories as to why ATV accidents occur - inexperience, recklessness, speed, overloading, inappropriate terrain and age.
But whatever the reason, there is a consistent theme to most deaths - when an ATV rolls on to a victim, the likelihood of serious injury or death is high.
Wearing helmets on ATVs and the fitting of roll-over protection must be mandatory on all ATVs.
Many readers will consider this an extra cost and unnecessary red tape. But no one blinks an eye about tractors now having roll-over protection.
And many ATV manufacturers maintain ATV roll-over bars can cause injuries.
But there is equally research that says the risk of being injured from a roll-over protection device is far less than if roll-over protection was not fitted in a roll-over accident.
It is time for action.
Governments must mandate all ATVs are fitted with roll-over protection. And they must provide a rebate to allow retro-fitting of roll-over protection to existing ATVS.
All farm workers must be trained in ATV use, including wearing helmets. And kids must not be allowed to ride them.
No one likes to be told what to do on their own properties. But sometimes, as with car seatbelts and tractor roll-over protection, the evidence and safety arguments are overwhelming.
And that time has now arrived for ATVs.