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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Farmer fined as muddy road causes collision

Police have urged farmers and the construction industry to ensure they clear mud from roads.

The appeal comes following a serious collision, which resulted in a farmer’s appearance before court earlier this year.

The farmer, who was responsible for the mud on the road, received a fine at Chester Magistrates Court in January 2022.

A two-vehicle collision, involving a van and a car, left one driver with life-changing injuries and the other with serious injuries.

According to a statement from Cheshire Police, the collision occurred on the A51 in Clutton at approximately 8.30 pm on Saturday, October 18th, 2020.

The statement added that a Vauxhall Corsa crossed into the opposing carriageway and collided with a Mercedes Sprinter head-on.

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Continuing, the spokesperson said:

“On police attendance, it was apparent that the road was in a very poor state due to agricultural workings on an adjacent field.”

Road safety 

PC Iain Condliffe who investigated the collision, said:

“We want to highlight the consequences of failing to clear the road of mud that your machinery deposits on the roadway and the responsibility you have for making sure the roads are clear and safe for other road users.”

“This is not just isolated to farmers working in their fields. Construction machinery can also leave mud on the roads, leaving them a hazard for other road users.”

The spokesperson stressed that it is an offence to deposit something on a road that causes danger to other road users.

“If you are likely to do this due to your type of work, it is your responsibility to make sure it is properly cleaned up, and adequate warning is provided for other users.”

Mud on roads

Last year, NFU Mutal, an insurance company in the UK, reminded farmers to avoid leaving mud on roads.

The rural insurer highlighted that farmers can be prosecuted and held liable if their tractors deposit mud on roads and cause motorists to skid or have an accident.

NFU Mutual Risk Management Services’ Evita Van Gestel said:

“Having measures in place to prevent mud getting onto roads and contingency plans so you can clear mud from roads quickly is the best approach.”

“For large-scale activities, such as sugar beet or maize harvesting, it may be necessary to have a wheel washer by field entrances and a mechanical road sweeper on stand-by.”

She said that a brush and shovel approach might be sufficient to clear up after one tractor.

“If you leave mud on roads, the law is clear. It’s the responsibility of the farmer to clean it up,”

“Put up clear warning signs to warn other road users. But, that does not mean you can leave mud.”

“It is still the farmer’s responsibility to remove it as quickly as possible,” she stressed.

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