Warning of risk posed by mud

Police are remdinding farmers to keep roads clear and asking motorists to take extra care on the area's roads during harvest season.
Police are remdinding farmers to keep roads clear and asking motorists to take extra care on the area's roads during harvest season.

Local farmers and contractors are being reminded of their responsibilities in keeping the area’s roads clear and safe for other drivers.

At Forfar Community Council’s last meeting, Constable Scott Anderson was asked if farmers are required to remove mud that has been left by agricultural vehicles and could pose a skidding risk to vehicles.

Member Jim McMillan queried whether simply erecting a warning sign is enough.

Constable Scott Anderson, community liaison officer, said that while signage has to be erected, roads also have to be kept clear.

He said: “There have to be ample signs on the road but it they must also clear it up at the earliest opportunity, it’s an offence under the Road Traffic Act not to.

“We have had calls and we’ve spoken to a few farmers about it but we’re encouraging them to clear it up. If anyone sees mud on the road, give us a call and we’ll send someone out to investigate and have a word with the appropriate farmer.

“I know some leave it until the end of the day when they’ve finished work but potentially that’s leaving it for several hours.”

Police Scotland is also urging drivers to be aware of the problem, particularly during the current potato harvest.

A spokeswoman said: “While we appreciate that farmers and contractors need to move their machines from field to field during this exceptionally busy time, we simply ask that efforts are made to keep roadways safe by removing excessive amounts of mud as soon as possible, and that they are mindful of their legal obligations.

“Drivers should also be aware that, with the darker evenings, road hazards can become harder to detect due to reduced visibility and they should modify their driving accordingly, this is of particular importance on unlit rural roads. Motorists should also ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and carry out regular maintenance checks on tyres, lights, screenwash and oil levels.”