The Victorian Farmers Federation is imploring farmers to take extreme care when using quad bikes, install an operator protection device and consider alternative, safer farm vehicles.
"The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found that quad bikes cause an average of six emergency department visits per day in Australia. That is an absolutely shocking statistic," Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke said.
"Deaths from quad bike accidents make the news, but what we don't know about is the huge number of people, many children, being rushed to hospital every day as a result of quad bike related injuries.
"Dr Warwick Teague, a trauma surgeon at The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, has spoken out publicly about the awful, life-altering injuries from quad bike accidents that he sees far too often.
"Dr Teague has to care for children who have crush injuries to the head and chest, spinal injuries, leg and pelvic fractures, and abdominal organ injuries."
Mr Jochinke said the number of children with quad bike injuries appeared to be rising consistently each year.
"I am appealing to all farmers to review their quad bike use. Please only allow adults with helmets and proper training to use quad bikes installed with OPDs," he said.
"Never allow children to ride on or drive quad bikes. If you're ready to remove the risk of quad bike accidents entirely, you can transition to using a safer farm vehicle, such a side-by-side.
"There are only six weeks left for Victorian farmers to take advantage of the Quad Bike Safety Rebate Scheme. The $1,200 rebate can be used to purchase up to two OPDs for your quad bikes, or an alternative farm vehicle."
Mr Jochinke said farmers wanting to apply for the rebate should call the VFF on 1300 882 833 or visit https://www.vff.org.au/quadbike before the rebate scheme closes on September 30.
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