The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) have urged road users to take extra care as the number of tractors, trailers and other farm machinery using the roads increases.
The appeal comes as farmers around the country avail of the improved weather conditions to bring in the first cut of silage in 2016.
In an effort to raise awareness of the likely increase in agricultural traffic using the roads and the need for all road users to take extra care, the RSA and IFA will be broadcasting their 30-second radio advert on national and local media this week. The advert reminds all drivers and those driving agricultural vehicles to use common sense and share the road responsibly.
Advising road users, Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO, Road Safety Authority, said “This is a busy time of year for farmers. The number of tractors and trailers out using the roads will increase dramatically over the next few weeks.
“As a result the risk of a collision involving a road user and farm machinery will increase. All drivers need to be on the lookout for tractors, trailers and other farm machinery exiting from fields and farm yards. If you are travelling behind farm machinery, please be patient and only over take when it’s safe to do so.”
Advising farmers, IFA President Joe Healy said, “I am asking farmers to be safety conscious whenever bringing a farm vehicle onto the public road. Farmers should be aware of traffic building up behind them and keep left where possible to allow other vehicles pass safely.
“I would appeal to other road users to show patience when encountering farm machinery on the road.
“With understanding on both sides, the roads can be safer for everybody”.
Ms. Murdock also urged farmers to ensure “that the drivers you use are competent and do not carry a passenger unless the tractor is equipped to carry one”.
She added, “Your driving mirror must provide an adequate view of the road to the rear and all agricultural vehicles must have proper working brakes on both tractor and trailer units. They must be fitted with lights, reflectors and indicators.
“Don’t load the trailer in such a way that it would make it unstable on the road, and beware of low bridges, overhanging trees, overhead cables and uneven road surfaces which could cause the load to shift and possibly overturn.”