Road Safety News
 

Commissioner makes plea to farmers and other rural road users

Thursday 6th August 2015

Dyfed Powys' police and crime commissioner has issued a plea to rural road users to be aware of farm machinery and vehicles during the summer harvest period.

Christopher Salmon, who grew up on a farm, is asking road users to be patient as they encounter increased agricultural traffic, and farmers to be thoughtful of others.

Mr Salmon said: “A number of people have raised concerns about agricultural vehicles with me recently.

“It’s a frantic time of year for many of those in agriculture; they’ve got to get silage in. I know what it’s like – I’ve been there myself. The weather doesn’t always help – and late nights, heavy loads and massive tractors put pressure on small roads.

“My message to farmers and contractors is: ‘Keep the public on your side!’ My message to the public is: ‘Be patient.’

“Farmers and contractors do their best to consider their neighbours. But, as agricultural equipment gets bigger and the pressures increase, it’s important to take extra care at this busy time – to keep the public behind local farms. That way, I hope farmers can make the most of the weather and have a successful, accident-free, harvest.

“Local people support our farmers, particularly when the pressure’s on. I encourage the public to continue supporting our local farms; they’re the lifeblood of our economy.”

 

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Harvest time is a busy time for farmers but it is also the main holiday season for travellers so there will be occasions when the two meet. He is right that farm vehicles are getting bigger and wider the widest can now be about 9ft which takes up much, indeed the majority, of a narrow country lane so slow speed and vigilance is necessary by both parties not just drivers.

What does worry me more is the plethora of dangerous heavy machinery that farmers attach to their tractors. Some with 2ft spikes and others with rotating blades and other devices. The DfT has published a paper that understands this problem and gives advice to farmers and other farm workers that such dangerous blades should be specifically covered or that escort vehicles should be used front and or back of the tractor whilst being driven on public roads, or that such dangerous machinery be taken to a field on a low loader and bolted there on site. If a normal vehicle were to drive with a sharp edge or long points sticking out of it the driver would be committing an offence under the Con and Use Regs but farmers seem to get away with it. Why?
Bob Craven Lancs...Space is Safe Campaigner

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