Alliance and SDLP join call for quad bike safety law change

The widow of late Finnebrogue founder, Denis Lynn has received the backing of Alliance and SDLP for her campaign to have quad bike safety laws changed in the UK. This follows support already received from the DUP and Labour party representatives.

Alliance Party MLA for South Down, Patrick Brown said:

“I want to do whatever I can to assist the Lynn family in this campaign, which I have no doubt will save lives.

The tragedy of what happened to Denis should never be repeated, and I am sure other parties will join the call for mandatory roll bars on quads across Northern Ireland.

“I have asked the Permanent Secretary for Economy, Mike Brennan, to begin the groundwork necessary to inform legislation to make this happen. Hopefully this is something that an incoming Economy Minister will look at with urgency.”

In the letter, Mr Brown also committed to working with the Farm Safety Partnership and the Ulster Farmers Union on raising awareness, but he was keen to highlight that “legislation is the only way to ensure maximise safety”.

SDLP MLA for South Down, Colin McGrath said:

“Denis Lynn’s passing in October sent shockwaves not just across Downpatrick and County Down, but right across the North. The legacy which he has left behind is a powerful one which will benefit all of us for generations to come.

However, it is appropriate that we are now looking at that accident and examining how we can safeguard those who utilise quad bikes for the future. A simple measure to address this would be the installation of roll bars as standard on quad bikes. As a legal requirement these would help save lives. 

We must be conscious of the fact that for the most part, quad bikes are utilised in rural areas where ambulance response times are poorer than in their urban counterparts. Therefore, anything we can do to minimise the risk to those using quad bikes is something which must be considered within any new Assembly.”

Mrs Lynn has written to the UK transport secretary Mark Harper and authorities in Belfast calling for quad bike safety rules to keep pace with Australia, where roll bars are now a legal requirement.

She has also received support from former First Minister for Northern Ireland, The Rt Hon. Dame Arlene Foster and Labour peer, Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick, in addition to the DUP’s Jim Shannon – who have all committed to raising questions in the Houses of Parliament.

The latest backing from Alliance and SDLP shows that support is growing for the campaign – and ultimately all parties are on the same side: quad bike safety legislation in the UK needs to be updated.