Mud on the roads and advice for farmers using public highways

Alert message sent 01/11/2019 18:20:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police






We are receiving many reports from drivers about dangerous conditions being created by mud being deposited on the roads.
This is not an uncommon problem at this time of year given the weather conditions and the agricultural community working hard in the fields. Unfortunately, the farmers and contractors may well be bringing significant amounts of soil from the fields and onto the road network whilst going about their normal business.
Farmers and contractors are legally obliged to ensure that if their vehicles leave mud, and other deposits, on the road, they clean it up. There is also a legal requirement for them to place out signs compliant with the Traffic Signs Regulation 2016 to warn motorists of the conditions on the road.
If they don’t, they could be liable for a number of offences under the Highways Act 1980 and the Road Traffic Act 1988. It is vital for farmers and contractors to know their responsibilities when it comes to leaving mud, and other deposits, on the road and particularly the consequences of not conforming to the law. 
Cleaning mud off of agricultural vehicles prior to going onto a public highway should be done whenever possible to help keep the roads safe. Although cleaning mud off agricultural machinery is inconvenient it may not be a defence in law.
There is more advice for farmers on the rural communities pages of the force website:
www.wiltshire.police.uk/MuddyRoads
 
Message sent by
Philip Mackie (Police, Communications Officer, Wiltshire)

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