The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland has called on its members to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to using mobile phones whilst driving tractors this summer.
The body believes this policy will reduce accidents, give great efficiency, prevent unnecessary insurance cost penalties, and preserve agricultural contracting businesses’ safety and future.
In a brief statement, a spokesperson for the FCI said:
“There needs to be zero-tolerance to using mobile phones while driving tractors, and all Irish farm & forestry contractors need to enforce this rule as a priority now.”
“Stand firm on this policy to keep your silage team safe and for the safety of all other road users. This policy will also reduce accidents, give great efficiency, prevent unnecessary insurance cost penalties and preserve the safety and the future of your farm & forestry contracting business.”
“Zero-tolerance means no more driving if you see your drivers with mobile phones or see Facebook or TikTok videos posted online in the coming days and weeks. Stay safe, stay contracting and stop the dangerous misuse of mobile in tractors.”
“Each farm and forestry contractor has to take responsibility for their own team. Give clear direction and stand firm in enforcing the necessary sanctions. Mobile phone use while driving = no driving job,” the body concluded.
Contractors urged to sack tractor drivers creating videos
Earlier this month, the FCI urged farm contractors to take a zero-tolerance approach to the sharing of TikTok-type tractor motion videos on social media sites during this year’s silage harvest.
The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors Association said it is aware of the “growing problem of mainly younger tractor drivers” in contractor fleets who are breaking the law and putting their lives and the lives of other road users at risk by using smartphones for creating videos while driving tractors.
The association warned that using a handheld mobile phone device while driving any machine is also against the law and is subject to penalty points for the driver.
FCI advises all contractors to use Bluetooth systems if they must use a mobile phone while driving a machine.
“Preventing the use of smartphones to create videos will be a significant management issue for many contractors during the 2021 silage season,” said FCI chief executive Michael Moroney.
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