Rural Road Safety Advice

As the Harvest of 2020 is due to start in the next few weeks if the weather allows! We thought now was a good time to remind everyone who uses the roads to be patient and to drive safely when using the county’s rural roads this summer.

In 2018 across the UK there were 488 accidents involving agricultural vehicles, of which 130 were classed as serious accidents and 29 led to fatalities.

We have listed below some things to remember when driving on our rural roads this summer.

  • Be patient when driving behind tractors; they rarely travel long distances on the roads and will pull in when it is safe to let traffic pass.
  • Look carefully for oncoming and following vehicles before turning right.
  • Watch carefully for oncoming traffic before pulling out onto a major road.
  • Be prepared for tractors to turn right into fields and farmyards.
  • Remember that when turning right a tractor with a trailer will often pull over to the left first in order to negotiate the turn.
  • Check rear view mirrors before trying to overtake.
  • Indicate clearly before pulling out to overtake.
  • Remember the vehicle may be wider than you think so bare this in mind when passing wider farm vehicles.
    We wish you all a safe and happy summer staying safe.

Here are also a few reminders for a safer summer for farmers and tractor drivers.

Make sure the road is clear ahead and behind before turning right – in particular look behind to check that no vehicle is trying to overtake.

  • Watch carefully for oncoming traffic before pulling out onto a major road.
  • Signal clearly well in advance of slowing down or moving to the right.
  • Make sure the tractor and towed implement lights are working.
  • Check that trailers and mounted implements are well lit at night.
  • Make sure cab glass, mirrors and lights are clean and free from obstructions. This includes cab windows which should be clear of any non essential control boxes.
  • Pull over when you can do safely to let following vehicles pass.
  • For more information on Tractors on the road: Rights, wrongs, rules and regulations please have a look at this great article from the Farmers Weekly

We wish our farmers a safe and happy Harvest 2020 and hope the weathers on your side this year!

Remember the farmers of Dorset are out using these machines and working long hours to provide the food that we eat, so please just remember that when one might hold you up for five minutes extra on your next journey!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Take care and stay safe. 

Tom Balchin
(Dorset Police , Police Community Support Officer, Rural Crime Team, Dorset)