Police warn heavy machinery and tractor drivers to clean up muddy roads or face being prosecuted

First published in News

Dyfed Powys Police is reminding members of the agricultural community to clean up and remove any mud left behind by their machinery.

The reminder comes at a time when the force traditionally receives a high volume of complaints from the public about mud being left on roads by tractors. This is an issue during spring and autumn when farmers and other agriculture contractors are at their busiest time preparing land for crops.

Insp Mark Davies head of roads policing for Dyfed Powys, is urging all farmers and contractors to take heed and to clean up after using the area's roads. Failing to do so is an offence as specified in sections 131 and 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (depositing substances on the road).

''While we appreciate that farmers and contractors need to move their machines from field to field, we are simply asking that any mess left on the road is cleared away as soon as possible,” said Inspector Davies. “This may seem a trivial matter to those working the land, but the consequences can be dire for drivers and motorcyclists, who can be caught unaware by mud on the road and potentially lose control of their vehicle.

''My advice to all operators of agricultural machines is simple - remember your responsibility and take action."

He said that putting out warning signs about mud on the road was good practice, but did not entitle anyone to leave mud on the road for hours or even days.

"Neither does it relieve those responsible of any liability in the event of an incident," added Insp Davies.

"Leaving the clearing up until the end of the day is not acceptable and could result in formal police action being taken."

Farming unions are also reminding their members.to keep roads clean.

“Mud on the roads can seriously reduce skid resistance and cause accidents,” said Mike Plumb, NFU Cymru Pembrokeshire County Chairman. “I strongly advise farmers to co-operate by sweeping up mud deposits that they track out onto the roads from fields and farmyards.

“As well as contributing to road safety this will also help farmers to avoid prosecution and to also avoid potentially costly bills from county councils should they need to be called out to clear mud off of the road.

“The NFU has prepared a briefing to update and remind NFU Cymru members on rules surrounding mud on the road and what you should and must do which is available on our website: www.nfu-cymru.org.uk or by contacting NFU Call First on: 0870 845 8458.”

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