Campbell, Maxine
July 2008
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Jul2008, Issue 34, p124
Academic Journal
The rural sector features prominently in the statistics for All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) injuries and fatalities amongst children in New Zealand. ATVs are the new workhorse of the farm and their increasing popularity suggests the rate of accidents involving children will not abate of its own accord. This paper summarises and updates research on ATV farm accidents involving children undertaken early in 2006. It reiterates the unsuitability of ATVs for use by and around children and examines accident statistics in the wake of a court case resulting from the death of a child on the family's farm. It argues that voluntary compliance with existing guidelines for the operation of ATVs is an insufficient strategy for reducing or eliminating existing risks to rural children. While the specificity of rural circumstances is acknowledged, it is not accepted as an adequate justification for maintaining the status quo. Rather, in light of the increasing numbers of ATVs and their growing popularity amongst lifestyle block holders, reducing unacceptable levels of risk to rural children requires the development of legal restrictions on the operation of the vehicles.


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