Campaign calls for quad bike safety as injuries rise

Local farmer Don Mortlock has broken 20 ribs in five years due to quad bike accidents, with a State Government campaign in partnership with WorkSafe urging Victorians to be safe when operating quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles.

Victorians are being urged to take care when operating or around quad bikes and all- terrain vehicles in a bid to reduce the number of related deaths and injuries.

A campaign launched earlier this month and run in partnership by the State Government and WorkSafe Victoria includes television commercials that depict how easily quad bikes can roll and the consequences they can have when not operated properly.

Local Don Mortlock is one farmer who’s been involved in quad bike accidents, with two incidents in the last five years and 20 broken ribs between them.

The 79-year-old said the latest accident, which happened around four months ago in Wareek, has “made an old man out of me”.

“It all happened in a split second. I have no recollection of what happened, your brain must sense when it’s going to get hurt or something and it just shuts it off like that,” he said.

Mr Mortlock spent three weeks in hospital and one week in rehabilitation with seven broken ribs following the accident.

He also spent over a week in intensive care following the first accident where his quad bike rolled on top of him, pinning his leg and breaking 13 ribs five years ago.

Safe Work Australia statistics show that of all quad bike fatalities since 2011, 60 percent involved rollovers, with a State Government rebate introduced in 2016 to fit operator protection devices such as roll bars to existing quad bikes, or to switch to more terrain appropriate vehicles such as side-by-sides to improve user safety.

For more on this story see Page 9 of The Advertiser, Friday, June 21

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