Motorists in Ireland are being urged to take extra care on the roads as the number of tractors, trailers and other farm machinery increases during the summer season.

The appeal has come from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) as farmers and contractors have started cutting silage around the country.

“This is a very busy time of year for farmers,” said Sam Waide, Chief Executive of RSA.

“The number of tractors and trailers out using the roads will increase dramatically. I am asking all drivers and motorcyclists to be on the lookout for tractors, trailers and other farm machinery on the road, turning into and out of fields.

“If you are travelling behind farm machinery, please be patient and only overtake when it’s safe to do so. Farmers should be aware of traffic building up behind them and keep left where possible and if safe to do so to allow other vehicles pass safely.”

Drivers of agricultural vehicles are reminded:

  • To wash down wheels regularly to avoid carrying mud and stones onto the public road.
  • To 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 road safety risk.
  • Not to load overload trailers so as to cause them to be unstable on the road.
  • To 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 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 also must be fitted with lights, reflectors and indicators.
  • That large farming vehicles should consider using an escort vehicle to warn other road users.
  • To ensure that tractors are driven at an appropriate speed for the road conditions.