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Farmers warned over vehicle maintenance as spot check reveals 90% had defects

The warning came as East Hertfordshire Police was forced to justify its actions after farmers branded its traffic spot check on agricultural vehicles ‘totally unjustifiable’.


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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Farmers urged to better maintain vehicles as spot check reveals 90 per cent had defects

Farmers have been warned to better monitor their agricultural vehicles to keep both themselves and other road users safe.

 

The warning came as East Hertfordshire Police was forced to justify its actions after farmers hit back on social media suggesting its traffic spot check on agricultural vehicles was ‘totally unjustifiable’, despite almost 90 per cent of vehicles pulled over having some form of defect.

 

The special Operation Agrarian was last week implemented for the second time in less than a month in the county, with two vehicles having such major defects they had to be escorted off the carriageway and into a nearby field to await the immediate services of an agricultural engineer.

 

 

Rural Sergeant Duncan Wallace said the team was ‘saddened by the levels of non-compliance’, which, of the 19 vehicles inspected, included no rear number plates on trailers, broken or muddied headlights and break lights and indicator defects.


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He said: “It is about changing this mind-set.

 

“We want an industry which is fit for the 21st Century, that stands up to scrutiny and transparency, and one that does not compromise safety of the public or its own operators.”

 

 

Sergeant Wallace said the industry should be creating work environments where staff were knowledgeable of their machines; confident and supported in reporting faults; and trained in not only the operation but in the maintenance of their machines.

 

He echoed Yellow Wellies farm safety ambassador Ed Ford’s suggestion that the farmer comment ‘sums up some farmers approach to farm safety’.

 

Proactive

Speaking on twitter, Mr Ford added: “Come on people, this is basic stuff. You would not kick off if you got pulled over for a tail light out or broken mirror on your car now would you?”

 

Others ordered the community to take note following the fatal incident of a Young Farmer who was killed after driving into the back of a trailer which had no lights.

NFU Hertfordshire county advisor Rosalind David, who has been working closely with East Hertfordshire Police, said the union was working with its members to provide safe and healthy working practices.

 

“We are pleased to see a proactive stance from our local police, and we hope the advice they gave whilst on the roadside has been observed and acted upon,” Ms David said.

 

“We hope that if any random checks occur in the future, that we see an improvement in the reported statistics.”

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