NFU issues tractor-driving and drink warning

A pre-Christmas reminder that the dangers attached to drink driving apply to people working with tractors, just as much as they do to car drivers, has been posted by the NFU’s transport specialist, Thomas Price.

Writing in a blog on the NFU website, Mr Price (pictured above) pointed out that in addition to being linked to 240 deaths on British roads last year, drink driving is also an issue in off-road situations.

“The danger that being under the influence of alcohol while at work, and the morning-after effect, was tragically illustrated by an incident which occurred in 2013 but has only recently come to court,” he said.

“In this case, a tractor driver, who had been drinking the night before, reversed his tractor and muck spreader up a yard and knocked down and killed an 11-year-old child. The driver was breathalysed and found to be 2.5 times over the legal limit.

“As the incident occurred off road in a farm yard the police were not able to prosecute.  A case was taken up by the HSE, however, and the driver, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 16 months in prison for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.”

Mr Price also warned that drink is not the only thing that can affect driving with drugs, both legal and illegal, able to have a dramatic effect on driving ability; more so if mixed will alcohol.

“Awareness is needed at all times but perhaps more so now when many of us will go to Christmas and New Year parties,” he said. “Drivers and employers need to make sure that no one gets behind the wheel if over the limit.

“Drink and tractors, and any other vehicle, do not mix.”

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