FARMERS and crofters have been reminded to properly mark any projections on agricultural vehicles and machinery which might be used on the road.

Last month in England, a fatal accident occurred when a car collided with the overhanging boom of an agricultural crop sprayer which was turning right. Although it was found that there was no evidence to suggest the crop sprayer was non-compliant, two matters of concern were considered – driver training regarding driver awareness of tail-swing of longer vehicles and signage regarding the full extent of the boom of the crop-sprayer.

As a result, NFU Scotland is asking farmers and crofters to be aware of the requirements relating to movement of front and rear end projections. This could include equipment such as ploughs, seed drills, weights, front end loaders and certain trailer loads. As well as ensuring their vehicles are correctly marked, farmers should remember to consider other road users. It may appear safe to make a manoeuvre, but it is important to also anticipate how other road-users will behave in response.

NFU Scotland legal and technical chair Tom French, said: “This incident is a stark reminder for all road users to be aware of those around us. It takes caution and awareness from both the public and from farmers to prevent accidents on roads, especially at busy times like harvest.

“Ensuring we mark our vehicles correctly, and the possibility of more training from the DVSA for new drivers regarding projections on vehicles, are positive steps we can take forward. However, even the most experienced driver can be caught out. It’s not just new drivers who can benefit from training on this; ensuring that all drivers are confident and knowledgeable about projections and how loads and implements can create stability or transfer problems is important."