Gardaí have appealed to the public to exercise caution in light of an increase in the volume of agricultural vehicles using roads in recent weeks.
Its appeal comes following the opening of the slurry spreading window in Ireland.
Meath Crime Divison issued a reminder to the public on social media on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022. It provided advice to drivers of agricultural vehicles and other road users.
It advises that “if you are travelling behind a tractor or other slow-moving vehicle, please be patient and don’t be tempted to overtake in a dangerous manner”.
“Always be on the lookout for farm machinery exiting fields and farmyards.
The spokesperson added that farmers need to be safety conscious too. If the traffic is building up behind you, keep left when safe to do so to allow others to pass safely.
“Never use your mobile phone while driving farm machinery on public roads,” Gardaí said.
The spokesperson also reminded drivers of agricultural vehicles of the following:
- Wash down wheels regularly to avoid carrying mud and stones onto the public road.
- Be particularly careful when transporting material such as silage, slurry, sand and gravel so that it does not spill on the road and pose a risk to other road users.
- Do not overload trailers in a manner that would cause them to be unstable on the road.
- Look out for low bridges, overhanging trees, overhead cables and uneven road surfaces, which could cause the load to shift and possibly overturn.
- The driving mirror must always provide an adequate view of the road and all agricultural vehicles must have proper working brakes on both tractor and trailer units. Fit all agricultural vehicles with lights, reflectors and indicators.
- Large farming vehicles should consider using an escort vehicle to warn other road users and ensure that tractors are driven at an appropriate speed for the road conditions.
- Never let an inexperienced driver use machinery.
- Ensure that equipment/machinery has been serviced properly and is in good working order.
- Be careful when using equipment that you may not have used for some time.
- Do not ‘risk it’ – if you do not know how to use the equipment, get someone to advise you or find out how to use it safely.
- Take particular care when using chainsaws.
- Always surprise children on farms.
- Visitors (including family relatives) may not be familiar with a farm environment. You should accompany them when out on the farm.