Quad bike ban too late for young girl

Moves to ban children from riding quad bikes have come too late for a young girl killed in the latest accident involving the deadly machines.

The seven-year-old died after a crash on Thistle Island, off the coast of Port Lincoln in South Australia, shortly before 6pm Sunday.

Police and ambulance crews rushed to the scene but the girl had sustained serious head injuries and died before she could be airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

A South Australia Police spokesman said the girl was the only person on the bike when it crashed. He could not say whether she was wearing a helmet.

Major crash unit investigators arrived at the property yesterday evening to determine how the crash happened.

The death comes just two weeks after federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten announced plans to ban all children under 16 years of age from operating an adult-sized quad bike in any workplace, including farms.

It was not clear whether the child was riding an adult quad bike.

Children account for about 20 per cent of an alarming number of quad-bike deaths in Australia.

Since the year 2000, about 170 people have died in quad bike accidents, making the machines the leading cause of deaths on Australian farms.

Yesterday’s incident brings the 2012 death toll to 16. Last year, 23 people died. The youngest victim was four.

The federal government’s workplace safety agency, Safe Work Australia, will work to implement the ban in 2013 in conjunction with state and territory regulators.

Police will prepare a report on yesterday’s death for the coroner. 


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