Renewed calls for quad bike safety regulation

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Quad bikes are again in the news - this time after a teenage boy was injured when one crashed in the Western Bay.

St John Ambulance staff rushed to the scene on Matakana Island about 10.45pm on Tuesday to find one had rolled on a 15-year-old boy.

TECT Trustpower Rescue Helicopter pilot Todd Dunham said the boy was riding home along a road when an oncoming car's headlights blinded him.

"Next thing he had been tossed from his bike," he said.

The boy suffered back pain and was stabilised by St John paramedics before being flown to Tauranga Hospital.

He was not seriously injured but was taken to hospital as a precaution.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

Earlier on Tuesday, the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter was called to airlift a Matamata farmer to hospital.

Nathan Cleverley, 40, had been injured when his quad bike rolled on top of him 17 hours earlier but had been unable to go for help.

He was taken to Waikato Hospital with serious abdominal and pelvic injuries.

These accidents follow a spate of quad bike crashes over the Christmas holidays, including two fatalities.

The spike in quad bike incidents has led to renewed calls for better safety around bike use.

Last week the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment said farmers needed to make quad bike safety a priority.

But Federated Farmers hit back, saying it was recreational users, not farmers, who were not getting the safety messages.

Federated Farmers health and safety spokeswoman Jeanette Maxwell said quad bike regulation was not needed.

Forty-five people were killed in motorcycle accidents in New Zealand last year while there were only seven quad bike fatalities, of which five were farm-related and two recreational.

She said while 850 people were said to be injured on quad bikes each year, the provisional number of serious harm notifications in 2011/2012 was 84.

Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Kevin Taylor said quad bikes which were used primarily on the road needed to be registered and warranted and the driver must be licensed.

If the bike was a farm vehicle there were exceptions that could be made for limited on-road use without registration, warrants and licensing being necessary.

"They are built and designed for off-road use, not for riding on the road," he said.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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