IFA National Grain Committee Chairman Liam Dunne has strongly objected to plans by the Department of Transport to duplicate tractor safety laws imposed on farmers, by seeking to introduce a road worthiness test for tractors used for normal farming activities.
Speaking after a meeting with the Department of Transport, Liam Dunne said, “The Department of Transport’s proposals ignore the reality that famers are already legally required under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 to ensure that brakes, handbrake, mirrors, lights, indicators, wipers and hitches are all in working order. This is needless duplication which is being imposed on farmers, without any consultation”.
The lack of understanding by the Department of Transport is best illustrated by their inclusion of general farming activity and a 25km distance-from-base limit as ‘commercial haulage’, thereby requiring the same testing as vehicles used for large scale commercial haulage.
“Many farms in this country are divided into several parcels, with outfarms some distance away common place. The simple fact is that the majority of farmers are not involved in commercial haulage and are not getting paid for transporting their livestock to marts and factories. The number of factories processing sheep, for example, continues to fall. Once farmers are compliant with the 2005 Act, this should not be duplicated by the Department of Transport.”