Road safety appeal ahead of silage season

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are appealing to drivers of farm machinery and other road users to share the road safely as silage season commences.

Roscommon IFA Chairman Jim O’Connor said it’s going to be a busy time on farms in the coming weeks as farming contractors bring in silage around the country.

“Last year, there were five road fatalities in Roscommon. Both the IFA and the RSA are renewing our annual appeal for motorists to be on the lookout for tractors, trailers and other agricultural machinery exiting from fields and farmyards,” he said.

“We are also asking anyone driving farm machinery, especially on rural roads, to cut back on their speed, not to get distracted and understand that around every corner could be a neighbouring family or friend out for a walk, a cycle or maybe riding a horse. We all need to expect the unexpected because the road has become an ever-changing environment since the pandemic began”.

RSA Chief Executive Same Waide said it was a very busy time for farmers and the number of tractors and trailers using the roads would increase dramatically in coming weeks.

“Farmers should be aware of traffic building up behind them and keep left where possible and safe to do so to allow other vehicles pass safely. Travel restrictions have only recently lifted and drivers may be rusty because they haven’t driven much in recent months. It is important that drivers recognise this, pay extra attention to the road and always be on the lookout for other road users,” he said.

Drivers of agricultural vehicles are being reminded that they are subject to all road traffic legislation. They are required to carry the appropriate licence and farm vehicles are required to be taxed, insured and must be roadworthy, including fully operational lights front and rear.