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Saturday 18 August 2018

Rural road safety appeal as silage season in full swing

Agricultural machinery has got bigger over the years
Agricultural machinery has got bigger over the years
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

With the silage season almost in full swing, the state's dairy farmer organisation has appealed for all rural road users to be aware and concentrate over the next six weeks or so.

Shane O'Loughlin, Chairperson of Wicklow ICMSA has appealed to all road users to exercise caution during this time.

"Over that period there will be a very significant increase in the number of tractors and other farm machines on rural roads and it was incumbent on all roads users - whether farmers, contractors, car users, cyclists or pedestrians - to take additional precautions to ensure that silage can be harvested safely and without any accidents on roads," he said.

Mr O'Loughlin noted that agricultural machinery has got bigger over the years and particularly on narrow rural roads, it is critical that all road users take extra care and 'expect the unexpected' over the next six weeks.

Meanwhile a since May 20, 2018, fast tractors must undergo periodic tests and must display certificates of roadworthiness (CRWs).

A ‘fast tractor’ is defined as a wheeled tractor in category T with a maximum design speed exceeding 40 km/h.

The Road Safety Authority has said if you use a fast tractor and you are unsure of its maximum design speed, you should consult its vehicle manufacturer or an authorised Irish tractor distributor.

Exemptions

A fast tractor will not have to undergo a commercial vehicle test if it is used:

  • ​for the purposes of agricultural, horticultural, forestry, farming or fishery activity solely within the State and mainly on the land where such activity takes place, including agricultural roads, forestry roads or agricultural fields
  • exclusively on a small island. This exclusion from the requirement for compulsory testing will apply to all of the islands off the Irish coast.

However, the RSA has warned that it is important to note that an exemption from undergoing a commercial vehicle test is not an exemption from the requirement to ensure your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition when it is used on a public road.

New vehicles will be required to be tested after four years and every second year after that.

They will be subject to the same test fees that apply to HGVs based on the gross vehicle weight for their design.

Wicklow People

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