ALREADY this year the region has been mourning the death of a young life at Barellan following a quad bike accident.
Last week the NSW government announced it would double the value of quad bike safety rebates available to farmers.
Farmers can now apply for a $1000 rebate for the purchase of a side-by-side vehicle, $500 for the retrofitting of safety equipment to an existing quad bike, and $90 for the purchase of an approved helmet.
While this won’t help the family and friends of the young boy who lost his life in Barellan, it will hopefully help to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again in the region – and across wider NSW.
It is pleasing the government has made a step forward in helping with the safety aspects of these bikes.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, in all areas of life, but anything can be done to prevent these things from happening it should be done.
It also shouldn’t take another tragic accident to happen in order for governments to make changes.
It is essential all levels of government are in tune with what their constituents want and act on it where possible.
Quad bikes are very real machines and a situation can change – both for an adult or child – at any time.
Having safety measures in place is crucial and essential to prevent this from happening.
No one is saying these quad bikes should be banned, it’s obvious they are a much-needed piece of equipment for all types of farms in our area.
It’s more about education, safety and awareness.
This goes for all sorts of items being used on farms.
Whether it’s a tractor, post digger or other item, it all needs to be handled with care.
Farming is a serious job and most know and treat it like this.
However, like anything it is easy to become complacent.
We’re all guilty of it – especially when we get behind the wheel of our own vehicles.
The issue is remembering that at any second life can change in an instant and not always for the best.
Those using quad bikes especially should always take the time to ensure they are being safe. If not for themselves, then for the lives tragically lost in accidents using this type of equipment.