Take Extra Care On The Roads This Harvest
Published on 09 November 2023
Drivers are being urged to take extra care on the roads as agricultural machinery and trucks mobilise for another harvest season across regional NSW.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said the coming harvest season will mean there will be more trucks and agricultural machinery on the roads as well as a surge in activity on railway level crossings where trains are not often seen.
"Unfortunately, due to the flooding that was experienced across the region last year, there wasn't much harvest activity on our local road network.
"Coming into this harvest season we are reminding drivers how busy our local roads will be and are providing some safety advice on passing agricultural machinery and trucks as well as driving across railway level crossings.
“When approaching an oversize vehicle you should: be patient, reduce your speed and wait for a safe opportunity to pass. Don’t drive right behind the machinery because the operator can’t see you.
"Trucks may also have trailers attached and can be longer or wider than expected, so drivers need to take extra care when changing lanes and should not try and overtake until it is safe.
"Trains can weigh up to 500 tonnes, travel up to 160 kilometres per hour and are unable to swerve or turn, so obey the railway level crossings as trains will be running on lines where they may not usually operate," Ms Suitor said.
An awareness campaign run by the Councils' in partnership with Transport for NSW is promoting sharing the road safely this harvest with fold down grain truck warning signs positioned along key harvest routes and at silos as well as a radio campaign to remind drivers what to do when they encounter agricultural machinery on the road.
“Fatigue is still one of the biggest killers on our roads and after long days harvesting and transporting grain, farmers and grain transporters need to ensure they are managing their fatigue. Ensure you are well rested and if you feel tired while driving, pull over in a safe place and have a rest. We want everyone to get home safely this harvest," Ms Suitor said.
A useful tool to assess how tired you are before you get behind the wheel is the interactive test your tired self online test - https://testyourtiredself.com.au/