As the summer draws to a close, the agricultural traffic (tractors, trailers, slurry tankers, spreaders) on our roads should also reduce. Farmers might have noticed that the Gardaí have been stopping agricultural vehicles for breaches of road traffic legislation during the summer months.
Revised regulations and standards for agricultural vehicles came into effect on 1st January 2016 with most notable changes below.
The regulations require more advanced braking systems for agricultural vehicles and their trailers, tankers, spreaders especially if they are travelling at speeds in excess of 40km/hour.
Lighting and visibility
Agricultural tractors and self-propelled agricultural machines must be equipped with full lighting systems (including side lamps, head lamps, rear lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and number plate lighting) at all times and not only during lighting up hours. There are some exemptions.
Agricultural trailers and interchangeable towed equipment must be equipped with side lamps, rear lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and identification mark lighting. They must also be fitted with a marker lamp on their right hand side if, when attached to a tractor, the overall combined length exceeds 10 metres. A rear ‘LONG VEHICLE’ marking must also be fitted to agricultural trailers forming part of a combination of vehicles exceeding 13 metres in overall length.
Weights, Dimensions & Coupling Requirements
National weight limits have been introduced for agricultural trailers. These limits will depend on the number of axles fitted, the spacing between them and the type of coupling fitted. Further information regarding the revised limits can be found on www.rsa.ie.
Breach of the new regulations may result in a summons to court. If convicted, the court may impose a class C fine (up to €2,500), a prison sentence or both on the person who commits the offence and also on the owner of the vehicle.
Any new vehicles should comply with the revised regulations and it is advisable to have older vehicles inspected by a suitably qualified expert.
BE SEEN…BE SAFE!