South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has highlighted, in the Scottish Parliament, the issue of head injuries occurring from accidents whilst riding quad bikes.

The Cross Party Group meeting for Accident Prevention and Safety Awareness, chaired by Claire Adamson MSP, was attended by many people with an interest in the prevention of accidents, especially on farms.

Emma, along with Owen Fielding, manager at Compass Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS) Dumfries, and CBIS young Ambassador 11 year old Kieran Conchie, took the campaign for responsible quad bike riding to Parliament. Owen spoke about the 1000 quad bike injuries and 2 deaths sustained each year. He described his experience of supporting persons at CBIS with acquired brain injury rehabilitation.

Kieran, who is a race-kart driver, took questions about why he supports the wearing of

CBIS young Ambassador 11 year old Kieran Conchie

helmets on quad bikes, as well as bicycles among his peers.

Commenting, Emma said:

“This campaign has grown significantly since its official launch last year at the Dumfries & Lockerbie Agricultural Show last August. Since then we have engaged with many people across the agricultural sector including SRUC, NFUS, Scottish National Sheep Association and The Scottish Farmer as well as Government Ministers.”
“From November through to February we conducted a small online survey to find out if farmers wear a helmet when riding their quad bikes, and barriers to wearing a helmet if they don’t. The results show that many do not wear a helmet. Some respondents said it restricts their ability to perform agricultural tasks like wrangling sheep, difficult to hear what’s going on around them and helmets don’t fit well.
“There was also a comment that ‘I couldnae whistle on ma dug’”.
“We have been in contact with one company called Logic who make ATV specific helmets and I encourage farmers to take a look at it. Although a standard bicycle helmet will also save a head from serious injury.
“Every year in Scotland there are around 1000 quad bike related injuries and 2 deaths. Many of these incidents result in head injuries and trauma. At the CPG we heard of a young farmer who fell off his quad and was trapped under his machine for 60 minutes with a concussion and later received 17 stitches to his head. This could have been prevented had he worn a helmet.”
“I look forward to continuing to promote this important message and encourage all farmers and agricultural workers to wear a helmet when on a quad.”

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