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Quad bike widow calls for more education

The widow of a farmer killed in a quad bike accident says education, not hefty fines, is the key to reducing accidents and deaths involving the bikes.

Official figures show 28 people died in quadbike accidents between 2010 and last November.

WorkSafe told a parliamentary select committee yesterday prosecuting farmers for dangerous practices would not be a productive way of improving safety in the sector - a stance slammed by opposition MPs.

In September 2011, 53-year-old Grant Cornelius was found pinned under his quad bike on his farm in Dairy Flat, Auckland.

His widow, Sarah Cornelius, said it was unclear what went wrong.

"He was out spraying thistles on his quad bike with a tank on the back behind him. We don't know exactly what happened, but for some reason it over turned and he died," she said.

"I think one of the biggest problems is people get a bit too familiar with their quad bike and they don't necessarily take a lot of time to think. Quite often you're racing out to do something on a farm whether it be getting stock back in."

People could not be too sure about their own property, she said.

"For example, walking on a property is a lot different to riding a quad bike."

She did not believe fines would fix the problem or change anything.

"I really believe that driver education is the key and the people who use quad bikes should have a lot more training.

"All too often we see about other people's accidents and it just brings back raw memories for me. I still have a quad bike and I'm very, very careful and I do wear a helmet.

"I know in my husband's accident a helmet may have helped, but the way he fell and the bike fell, I was told quite honestly it wouldn't have made a difference whether he'd had a helmet on or not."