Motorists warned of risks in impatience

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 08:06 16/01/2014
tractor in traffic

SAFETY FIRST: The presence of farm machinery on the road is a fact of life in rural communities.

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Police are urging motorists to be patient with contractors using South Canterbury roads to access crops.

Kurow Constable Craig Bennett said farmers and contractors have just as much right to be on the road as other motorists, so it was important not to get impatient with them.

He said in that many cases heavy farm machinery was more road-legal than cars.

"It's like the truck industry - they are generally in very good condition, well-serviced and looked after [because] if they break down it's just money being thrown away."

He said that over the summer months motorists should give themselves plenty of time to get to where they are going.

"For a little bit of a hold-up, don't do anything silly. It's [about] taking care, obviously. With the farm machinery, they are slow and their vision is limited. Make sure they know you are there."

Timaru District Council road safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude said the presence of farm machinery on roads was part of life in a rural community.

"We've got farms all around the place, it's the hub of our district, therefore we've got all this equipment on the roads. They are there and as drivers we've got to deal with that."

He said it was important for motorists to keep their distance and to not pass until they knew it was safe to.

"Usually farmers are great at showing you when [you can pass] because they are sitting high so they can see."

Mr Naude also suggested motorists pump their brakes or put their hazard lights on if they are stuck behind heavy machinery to warn other drivers.

"It's simple things, but it helps others as well and you don't get smashed from behind."

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- The Timaru Herald

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