Faiure to clean up mud an offence

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TAYSIDE Police in Angus is urging all drivers and operators of heavy plant and agricultural vehicles to be aware of the problems cause by mud on the roads following a string of complaints from the public.

It is an annual problem and not one that is exclusive the county. Now the authorities are reminding drivers and operators that failing to clean up and remove mud from the road can be an offence under the Roads (Scotland) Act.

Inspector Grant Edward, Head of Roads Policing, urged all farmers and contractors to take heed.

He said: “While we appreciate that farmers and contractors need to move their machines from field to field, we are simply asking that any mess left on the road is cleared away as soon as possible.

“This may seem a trivial matter, but the consequences can be dire for drivers and motorcyclists, who can be caught unaware by mud on the road and potentially lose control of their vehicle.

“My advice to all operators of agricultural machines is simple – remember your responsibility and take action.”

He went on: “Putting signs out is good practice, but it does not entitle anyone to leave mud on the road for days, or even hours. Neither does it relieve those responsible of any liability in the event of an incident. Leaving the clearing up until the end of the day is not acceptable and could result in formal police action being taken.

“In conjunction with Angus Council (as the area roads authority), we have an agreed procedure to deal with any instances of mud on the road. This may result in the council arranging to clean the road with the costs then being recovered from the offender. Where necessary, tractor drivers and operators will be charged and reported.”

Inspector Edwards closed: “Some people might consider this to be extreme, but I will not hesitate to take action where the safety of road users is being put at risk.”