Farmers death prompts call for helmet law for quad bike riders

There is a push for Scotland to adopt helmet laws for people riding a quad bike after the death of a sheep farmer

SCOTLAND could be the first country in the UK to make it illegal to ride a quad bike without an appropriate crash helmet.

The push to introduce a law comes after a Scottish sheep farmer lost his life in an accident involving a quad bike in 2018.

Iain MacNicol, 76, was using the quad to round up his sheep on the family farm when the incident took place. As a result of the injuries he sustained, Mr MacNicol sadly lost his life.

Because of this incident, Sheriff Thomas Ward is calling for a new law to be brought in forcing all riders of quad bikes to wear helmets when in use.

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Speaking about the proposed law, Sheriff Ward said:

“Although in this case there is no indication that the outcome would have been different if the deceased had been wearing a safety helmet, there is no doubt that it would be a prudent step for anyone driving a vehicle such as this to wear a safety helmet.”

Sherriff Ward isn’t just pushing for helmets to become mandatory, he also feels that some form of training should be given to new owners – as it stands a quad can be driven on a full car and B1 full motorcycle licence, despite the machine handling very different to both a car and a bike.

“In addition it is I think important that those who drive quad bikes are aware of the limitations of such a vehicle, particularly in rough terrain. I consider that some form of instruction should be given before someone is allowed to drive a quad bike off-road and in terrain where there are no markers to show safe routes.

“The recommendations which I have made seem to me to be self-evident. There is no doubt that there is an art in driving a quad bike and there is an owner’s manual indicating the necessary steps which should be taken when driving up or down a hill.”

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