Apprentice farmworker was using poorly maintained vehicle at time of accident…
A teenager was killed in a quad bike accident after a farmer from Dartmoor had provided him with the poorly maintained vehicle.
The 17-year-old accident victim died in a collision on June 7 2007 when the bike crashed into a car on a minor road in Postbridge. He was transported to a local hospital but died from the injuries he sustained in the crash.
The farmer pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to maintain the quad bike in a safe and roadworthy condition at Plymouth Crown Court.
The accident victim had been an apprentice helping out with farm-work at the time of the accident when he received access to the bike and guidance on how to drive it.
A police investigation found that the rear brakes of the vehicle broke just three weeks before the accident but the farmer continued to use the bike despite the braking malfunction.
After pleading guilty to a breach of Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 the farmer was fined £250 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs. The court decided that the mechanical defects with the bike did not have a direct bearing on the accident which was a head-on collision between the quad bike and an oncoming vehicle.
HSE Inspector Simon Jones commented after the court hearing:
“It is essential that quad bikes are properly maintained. If a quad is not in full working order it should not be used. In this case the farmer should have taken the vehicle out of use until the back brake was fully repaired.
“Sadly, although the accident victim had access to a helmet that he was told to wear, he was not wearing one when the accident happened. This tragic case also highlights the need for farm workers to always wear a helmet when riding a quad bike.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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