Gardaí in Donegal are urging road users to take extra care as slurry spreading season recommences today.
With likely increase in the volume of agricultural vehicles using the roads, motorists are being asked never to be tempted to overtake in a dangerous manner.
“Always keep a look out for farm machinery exiting fields and farm yards,” said Garda spokesperson Niall Maguire.
Drivers of agricultural vehicles are reminded of the following:
- If you become aware that the traffic is building up behind you, keep left when safe to do so in order to allow others to pass safely.
- Never use your mobile phone while driving farm machinery on public roads.
- Wash down all 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. All agricultural vehicles must be fitted with lights, reflectors and indicators.
- Never let an inexperienced driver use machinery. 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.
- Ensure that equipment/machinery has been serviced properly and is in good working order.
- Be careful when using equipment which you may not have used for some time.
- Slurry presents two particular safety risks, drowning and gas poisoning. Visitors (including family relatives) may not be familiar with a farm environment and should always be accompanied when out on the farm.