Quad bikes can pose a serious risk to youngsters warns GEM Motoring Assist

Road safety and breakdown specialist GEM Motoring Assist is warning against giving children a quad bike for Christmas.

The plea comes after a number of deaths and injuries among young people in recent years among young people riding quad bikes. GEM Motoring Assist road safety officer Neil Worth pointed out that as well as the risks involved with riding one, there are legal restrictions when it comes to quad bikes too.

Happy little girl with protective clothin riding mini motorcycle

"In recent years there have been a number of deaths and injuries involving quad bike or mini motorcycle riders on public roads," he said. "Most of these incidents have involved children aged under 18.

"Quad bikes are generally designed for use off road by trained riders. Any road-legal quad bike requires the rider to be 17 years old or over, and to have paid tax and insurance. He or she is also required to wear a helmet and proper protective clothing.

ATV rider creates a large cloud of dust and debris on sunny day

"Safe off-road riding requires an understanding of how a quad bike performs and how it can react at speed. For example, the risk of a rollover incident increases when a quad bike is travelling at speed, when carrying a heavy load or travelling through rough terrain. Injury risk is extremely high in a rollover, due to the weight of the quad bike and the lack of protection available to the rider.”

As well as quad bikes, GEM Motoring Assist is warning of the dangers of mini motorbikes, which can be ridden legally by those under 16, so long as they're on private land.

Little boy rides his electric ATV quad bike

"It’s worth remembering that many of these bikes can reach speeds of up to 60mph, they are not easy to control and therefore they pose a significant safety risk for children with little or no experience," said Worth. "So if you are determined to give one of these for Christmas, please ensure your child receives proper training, always wears a helmet and proper safety clothing. Additionally, never let the child ride unsupervised.

"Please keep your children safe this Christmas. Don’t put their lives at risk by giving them the opportunity to ride fast, powerful machines until they have received proper training and have shown themselves capable of controlling them."

Young child riding ATV quad bike in open spring field