Motorists urged to respect farmers on the road

The county’s road safety officer Noel Gibbons has appealed to road users to respect farmers and let them do their jobs.

As the long spell of bad weather eased off this week, Mr Gibbons said many farmers will be at work, meaning more farm vehicles, like tractors and trailers, will be using rural roads.

“Drivers' anxiety levels skyrocket when they get behind a tractor or combine,” said Mr Gibbons. “But keep in mind that equipment is likely not going too far, and will not hold you up for more than a few minutes.

“If farmers can't do their job producing food and sustaining the environment, we're all in trouble. We need to give them a break and exercise driving tolerance so they can move their machinery from field to field.”

Seventy per cent of fatal collisions over the period 1996 to 2010 occurred on rural roads.

This latest road safety campaign is designed to remind people that a farm vehicle is part of a farmer's workplace.

“Rural road safety is an important issue year-round, but it is especially important at this time of year. Farmers will be out planting, and motorists must remain alert for large and often slow-moving equipment. Country roads are unpredictable and, therefore, present far more challenges to drivers,” advised Mr Gibbons.

“Country crashes often result in greater numbers of fatalities and injuries because vehicles are usually travelling at higher speeds.”

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