Agricultural contractors reject speed limit proposal

A proposal to reduce the speed limit for tractors to 40km/h has been rejected by agricultural contractors.

The lower speed limit for agricultural tractors may be included in the 2013 Road Safety Strategy which will be published by the Road Safety Authority in December.

A 40km/hr (25 mph) limit in the seven-year strategy would effectively prohibit agricultural tractors from travelling on the motorway, according to the Professional Agricultural Contractors (PAC) of Ireland.

They say tractors would be confined to secondary roads, and warned against an increased likelihood of crashes due to drivers attempting to overtake the slow-moving agricultural vehicles.

The modern tractor is generally designed to travel at 50km/h (the minimum speed on a motorway) and has equal, if not superior, braking systems compared to heavy goods vehicles, according to PAC.

Contractors also warn a 20% decrease in speed will lead to higher fuel consumption.

nContractors also predict a move for regular testing of tractors for non-agricultural use, on the second anniversary of registration and every two years thereafter.

A PAC spokesperson said, “We have no problem with that. The testing will include lighting, brakes, steering, tyres and so forth. There is a suggestion that in five years it might be extended to all agricultural machinery but I do not envisage it happening in the foreseeable future.”


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