Wednesday, July 26, 2017

'Patience' urged for farm operators, motorists on the road

Advice on how to safely use the roads when operating farm vehicles, and the need for patience and consideration on both sides was part of the information given today at the Farm Safety event in Leinster Marts, Kilcullen, writes Brian Byrne.

Kildare County Council Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh was on hand both to distribute packs of high-viz clothing to farmers at the Mart, as well as discussing issues relating to moving between fields and roads.

"Simple things, like making sure that their vehicles are as clean as possible before they exit onto the road," he said. "It's important that mud and other debris is kept off the road, for the safety of other drivers. If a car comes on a stretch slippery with mud, they can unexpectedly skid."

He also emphasised that other road users in rural areas should be aware that they may encounter farm machinery around a bend, moving slowly. "A lot of this equipment can't move quickly by its nature, so motorists need to drive at a speed on rural roads that allows for this." He reiterated the advice given this week by the Road Safety Authority that, with the silage cutting season in full swing, the need for patience on all sides.

The Garda Traffic Corp was also in attendance at the Mart, reminding those present of the regulations relating to the operation of farm equipment. In particular, loads should be properly tied down, and trailers mustn't be loaded in a way that makes them unstable.

Awareness of low bridges and power lines, and the consideration of using escort vehicles for large machinery are also matters which are being reiterated by the IFA at events like this.