AGRI contractors are being urged to take a zero tolerance approach to the sharing of videos taken while driving tractors.
The warning is being issued as this year’s silage season gets underway.
Last year, there was concern about a number of videos uploaded to social media sites including TikTok showing people recording themselves in dangerous situations with machinery.
According to the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI), there is a growing trend of tractor drivers creating videos while driving tractors.
FCI is advising all contractors to use Bluetooth systems if you must use the mobile phone while driving a machine. It is urging contractors to make sure that all of their machines have Bluetooth kits, for safety reasons as a priority but also as drivers will incur three Penalty Points on each occasion of use, which may force some to surrender their licence.
FCI has messaged over 1,200 contractors on its database and through its WhatsApp Groups and email system across the country to highlight their safety message.
FCI chief executive Michael Moroney said: “There are a number of aspects to the problem. Some videos are merely portraying good operations, while others are showing lack of driving skills and safety awareness. Others are clearly highly dangerous and tempting fate in an absurd way. All are dangerous. FCI recommends a zero tolerance approach where drivers who behave in this way should be sacked from the contractor’s team with immediate effect.” According to the Road Safety Authority, drivers of agricultural vehicles are subject to all road traffic legislation. They are required to carry the appropriate licence and farm vehicles are required to be taxed, insured and must be roadworthy, including fully operational lights front and rear.