FIANNA Fáil TD Dara Calleary is to launch a new Bill to improve safety measures on quad bikes.
The Bill comes after Mayo County Coroner Pat O’Connor recommended safety measures be introduced to the all terrain vehicle, including an anti-roll bar.
Mr Pat O’Connor made the remarks after a jury returned a verdict of accidental death in the inquest of Michael Anthony (Tony) O’Malley of Derrew, Ballyheane, last week.
Mr O’Malley (67) was found dead on his farm, after the quad he was driving flipped and suffocated him on September 21 last.
Deputy Calleary is bringing forward the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Bill 2018 which will make it mandatory for quad bikes to have anti-roll bars and for users to wear protective headgear.
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.
Commenting on the Bill, Deputy Calleary stated: “Tragically, 15 percent of all farm deaths between 2007 and 2016 were as a result of quad accidents. 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.”
Deputy Calleary said 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 …It will help to improve health and safety standards and will protect workers across the country,” he concluded.