Quads On The Road ‘Subject To Same Rules’ As Other Vehicles

Quad users have been issued a warning from An Garda Siochána that, when used on a public road, quads are “subject to the same rules that apply to other mechanically propelled vehicles”.

In a reminder to quad users, Gardaí based in Co. Donegal stressed: “Quads are powerful machines that have the potential to severely or even fatally injure someone.

If used on a public road, they are subject to the same rules that apply to other mechanically propelled vehicles.

“They must be registered, taxed, roadworthy and they must comply with standard road regulations.

“The driver must hold the relevant driving licence and be fully insured to drive the vehicle,” the Garda warning added.

Looking at the Road Safety Authority (RSA) guidance on quad use, firstly it should be noted that quad bikes used in a public place require the driver to have a licence.

Therefore, the minimum age is 16 for light quads 350kg or less with a maximum design speed of not more than 45kph – otherwise it is 17 years of age.

Next up, tyres fitted to a vehicle being used on the road require type approval i.e. e-marked, s-marked and have a minimum 1.6mm tread depth.

If off-road tyres meet with these requirements, then they can be used on a public road. Some off-road tyres are marked ‘for off-road use only’ and may not be used on a public road, the RSA says.

While quads do not require road worthiness testing, under road traffic law the authority highlights that it is the owner and driver’s responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is kept in a roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place including footpaths.

All parts and equipment must be in good working order. Failure to do so can result in prosecution, the RSA warns.

Finally, quads can tow trailers on public roads – provided that the quad meets all the regulatory requirements for road use.

You should hold the appropriate driving licence for that vehicle combination and the loaded weight of the trailer must not exceed the quad’s towing capacity.

You should refer to the owner’s manual or contact original manufacturer for its towing capacity, the RSA says.

(Source – Agriland – Sylvester Phelan – 02/09/2021)

Tractor Drivers On Phones Flagged By Multiple Motorists

The issue of tractor drivers who are travelling while on their phones has been raised from a number of sources in recent days, as harvest and silage season begins to wind down.

A number of calls have been made for operators to “put it away” when driving powerful agricultural machinery – for both their own safety and the safety of others.

Taking to social media over the weekend, An Garda Síochána Crime Prevention Officer for the Laois-Offaly region Graham Kavanagh underlined the issue, stating:

“On the road this morning with family in car and passed a few neighbours. Too many holding a mobile phone, chatting while driving farm vehicles and machinery. Put it away.

“Farm safety includes road safety,” the Crime Prevention Officer added.

Image source – New Ross Neighbourhood Watch

Phones

Meanwhile, the same issue was reported in the southeast of the country in Wexford, where an anonymous member of the public got in touch with New Ross Neighbourhood Watch to report the matter.

In some strong views, voiced to the group’s Facebook page with an accompanying photo (above), the road-user said: “What is it with all these young lads driving farm machinery around the roads these days?”

Questioning how the owners of the tractors trust such drivers, the person added:

“It’s a common occurrence lately where [with] nearly every tractor I meet with young people driving they are on their phones.

“[I] was with my sister driving from St. Leonards to Duncannon (my sister was driving), when we came up behind a tractor on the new line which was veering from one side of the road to the other, and making some oncoming traffic drive right into the ditch so as not to be hit and then going into the ditch himself on the left side, throwing lumps of muck, stones and bits of hedging out on the road.

“The driver who looked young enough, maybe late teens [or] early 20s, was talking on his phone and stayed on it for the few miles that we were behind him and God knows how long before and after that.

“Do the owners of these tractors even care what way they are being driven on the roads?” the person asked.

RSA Stance

According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), using a mobile phone makes you four times more likely to crash.

Under Irish law, you can only use your mobile phone while driving if you’re dialling 999 or 112 for an emergency.

If members of An Garda Síochána charge you, it is a fine of €60 and you will get two penalty points, according to the RSA. If you don’t pay the fine, you may be convicted in court, get four penalty points and charged €2,000.

Considering that driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions, phone use and driving is an issue that everyone needs to think differently about, the authority warns.

(Souirce – Agriland – Sylvester Phelan – 31/08/2021)

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