Cropping

Call for extra caution on road at harvest time

By Country News

As the region’s farmers enter harvest season, drivers are being urged to pay extra attention on the roads.

Regional Roads Victoria north eastern regional director Nicki Kyriakou said the number of heavy machinery and agricultural vehicles on the roads was likely to increase in coming months.

‘‘North-eastern Victoria is home to a busy and diverse agricultural sector, and during harvest season we’re urging road users to remain alert and responsibly share the roads,’’ Ms Kyriakou said.

‘‘Drier conditions across the region may mean fewer trucks transporting grain, but we’re still expecting to see more agricultural vehicles on the roads as farmers cut, bale and cart hay.

‘‘We’re asking all road users not to be complacent — ensure it’s safe to overtake large vehicles, remain patient and make sure you’re aware of the blind spots associated with larger vehicles.

Ms Kyriakou also asked those driving heavy vehicles to ensure they were adequately rested before getting behind the wheel.

‘‘Fatigue is one of the biggest causes of trauma on Victoria’s roads,’’ Ms Kyriakou said.

‘‘We know that during harvest season, farmers often work longer hours.

‘‘What we’re asking is that before anyone gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they take a moment to assess if they feel suitably alert to drive.

‘‘If you feel that you’re too tired to drive, either swap with another licensed driver, or take 15 minutes to have a power nap.

‘‘It could be the difference between making it home safely or not.’’