IT IS time for a major attitude shift over kids riding quad bikes.
And that shift must come from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
- JOIN THE CONVERSATION
- POLL: Should adults ban children from riding ATVs? Vote now
- READ MORE: ATV ban pressure grows
- Girl dies in quad bike accident
- Odes to stop selling child-sized quads
- Kids, quad bikes don't mix: Coroner
- ATV age ban confirmed
- Have Your Say in the form below
It is time ATVs are no longer viewed as a fun vehicle for all ages. It is time adults prevented kids from riding them.
Do we need any more convincing than the death of a seven-year-old girl in South Australia on the weekend?
She was the fifth child to die on an ATV in Australia last year.
Young riders do not have the strength to control machines that weigh several hundred kilograms.
Yet adults continue to permit children to ride ATVs or carry them as passengers.
The Federal Government's move to ban children aged under 16 years from riding quad bikes in the workplace misses the mark.
First, state governments - which must implement any ban - say it is unlikely they will do so.
Second, policing a ban on private land would be almost impossible.
Third, any ban would be for a workplace. Does a bush block or weekend property qualify?
A government ban would be a moot point if parents, guardians and friends - those who grant permission for youngsters to ride - implemented their own ban.
It is only this cultural change that will prevent further ATV child deaths.
The manufacturers clearly warn that ATVs must not be ridden by someone under 16.
But they have no control once the machine leaves the showroom.
Some readers may tut-tut about this, having grown up driving paddock bombs and motorbikes without seatbelts or helmets.
But as one farm leader told The Weekly Times: "In an accident, you can't stay on a motorbike. With a quad bike, you can't get off them."
Parents can't wait for laws to protect their children. They must implement their own ban.
There is one more family this weekend who would now wish they had done just that.