Call for motorists to be patient during harvest season

A combine harvester. Picture by Jane Coltman
A combine harvester. Picture by Jane Coltman

Police are asking motorists to be patient as the harvest season approaches and agricultural vehicles take to Northumberland’s roads.

The county has always had a large and thriving farming community and the time has come for those working in agriculture to harvest their crops. This will see a number of large, slow moving, vehicles take to rural roads over the next few weeks to prepare the fields for next year.

Officers are asking motorists to be careful when driving on small country roads as one of these vehicles may be out of view just around the corner.

Motor Patrols Chief Inspector John Heckels, who oversees the force’s road-safety Operation Dragoon, said: “The farming industry is a huge benefit to our local economy and they are the heartbeat of our rural communities.

“We appreciate that it can be frustrating for motorists who are driving on the same roads as these large agricultural vehicles, but we would urge you to remain patient. Keep your distance, look at the road markings to assist in judging when you should overtake and be aware that they may turn into fields at any moment.

“If you are a farmer, you should make sure your vehicle and trailer lights are in good working condition before you set off on your journey, no matter how short. You should also signal clearly before manoeuvres and make sure the glass in your cab is clear and free from obstructions. Wherever possible use amber flashing lights to identify who you are to the public and also try and pull over safely and regularly to allow traffic to pass.”

If you ever want to report a motorist driving dangerously on our country roads, you can contact the Op Dragoon team on 101, extension 69691.