Updated: 04/04/17 : 07:53:21Printable Version
Sligo Fianna Fáil Councillor Keith Henry is calling on the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to resist any move that introduces an NCT-like test for tractors.
The Ballymote based Councillor has a motion before the next meeting of Sligo County Council calling on the members to write to the Minister for Transport and the RSA to oppose such a move.
“Word recently broke that the RSA are looking to implement a test for tractors capable of driving at 40km/h and above. When I contacted the RSA they informed me it was a Directive from the EU that required implementation. I have read the relevant directives and while they do call for increased safety measures for agricultural vehicles I don’t see the need for over regulated testing. I also received two items of conflicting correspondence from the RSA on it so it would appear that even they are unsure how to implement it,” he said.
“The RSA say this is for tractors used in haulage but that in itself is very vague. Does someone bringing turf from a bog or silage from fields to a yard count as haulage? Nearly every tractor nowadays can do 40km/h and above so it will create a huge problem for the farming community,” Cllr Henry added.“Farmers are already hard pressed as it is for time and money without having to go down the route of an over regulated testing process. I’m not for one second saying that road safety should be compromised but how many road accidents have involved tractors?” the youngest member of the Council questioned.
“The Car NCT system is already a bone of contention for the public and putting tractors through a similar test must be resisted if we are serious about supporting the rural agricultural economy. EU Directives are used as an excuse for implementing measures like this but it’s up to each member state to interpret the directive themselves.
"In this case I think Ireland should use common sense in its implementation and not put added cost and red tape in the way of rural people. It would be much more beneficial for Minister Ross to assign additional money for the roads we drive on rather than try and put tractors off the road,” Cllr Henry concluded.