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05-10-2006, 21:46   #1
Wishbone Ash
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Beacon on Tractors

Hi lads/ladies,

Does anyone know the current legal situation regarding beacons on tractors? I was always under the impression that they were technically illegal but that, in the interests of safety, this regulation was not enforced by the Gardai . The beacon on new tractors used to be disconected when sold because they was not legal here. I remember the IFA campaigning several years ago for the legislation to be updated but I haven't heard much lately.

On a similar note, my brother was recently reprimanded at a Garda checkpoint, for driving his tractor and unladen low loader, with the beacon off. He explained to the Garda that, at a Health and Safety course, he was informed that his beacon must only be used with a loaded trailer. The Garda said that he didn't care what he had been told at any course and to switch it on.

Any thoughts/opinions?

(PS I tried Googling this subject but didn't really come up with much.)
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06-10-2006, 14:36   #2
Scawgeen
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Don't know the law but the orange beacons on Tractors, Vehicle ambulances etc. are to be encouraged especially this time of year as the dark evenings come in. I think you may be refering to the blue beacons on Garda cars and Ambulances which might be illegal on ordinary citizens vehicles.

On a slightly similiar vein, the flag-man with the red flag seems to be a thing of the past, all you need nowadays is one of those illuminous yellow jackets to put up your hand to stop traffic or direct it. We have 'road works' at present in our town, one wonders whether one should pay heed to the red temporary traffic light or the yellow-coated man waving you through a red light.
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06-10-2006, 17:15   #3
Wishbone Ash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scawgeen
I think you may be refering to the blue beacons on Garda cars and Ambulances which might be illegal on ordinary citizens vehicles.
No, I know that they are specificly reserved for emergency vehicles. I am referring to amber flashing beacons.

Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) Regulations 1963

42. No lamp (other than direction indicators) fitted to a vehicle shall show or be constructed or adapted so as to be capable of showing a flashing light unless such light is invisible to persons outside the vehicle.

Exemptions:

(18) (a) The requirements of Parts II and VI of these Regulations shall not apply to a lamp which is carried on an ambulance, a fire brigade vehicle or a vehicle being used by a member of the Garda Síochána in the performance of his duties as such member and which complies with the provisions of this sub-article.
(b) (i) The lamp shall where possible be fitted on the roof of the vehicle on a point on its longitudinal axis.
(ii) No part of the illuminated surface of the lamp shall be less than 5 feet from the ground.
(iii) The power of the lamp shall not exceed 50 watts.
(iv) The area of the orthogonal projection on to any vertical plane of that part of the lamp through which light is shown shall be capable of lying wholly within a square having sides of 9 inches in length.
(v) The light shown by the lamp shall be blue.


In 1979,under the Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) (Ammendment) Regulations 1979 this was amended to include amber flashing lights on recovery vehicles, road works vehicles, snow ploughs, hedge cutters and road maintenance vehicles.


The 1979 ammendment made no mention of agricultural vehicles and I don’t know whether there has been any amendment since. It still appears to be illegal to drive a tractor in a public place with an amber flashing beacon and in the interests of safety, this would need to be rectified.
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14-10-2006, 19:50   #4
BrianD3
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Are you not obliged to have an amber flashing light if driving a tractor on a M-way or dual carriageway. I was sure I read this in legislation somewhere.

Also IIRC I have seen ESB and County Council vehicles with flashing amber lights and I don't believe these vehicles were "recovery vehicles, road works vehicles, snow ploughs, hedge cutters and road maintenance vehicles."
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15-10-2006, 08:38   #5
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Brian,

I'd imagine CoCo & ESB fall very loosely under road works and maintenance.

I'd prefer to use amber beacons, as they would much more help to other road uses in dark or near dark conditions. At the moment people complain about front and rear beams, but these are often the only way to highlight that you are not just another fast moving, agile car. At 200m off on a dark lane I'd much rather a flashing beacon as a sign of a hazard.
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15-10-2006, 15:38   #6
golden
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it is illegal for a tractor to be on a Motorway.
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15-10-2006, 22:54   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden
it is illegal for a tractor to be on a Motorway.
What if they are capable of exceeding 50kph? The JCB Fastrac, MB Unimog, the larger Fendts and others can do 65/70 kph. Are they not permitted to use motorways? I occasionally see a JCB Fastrac on the M1/M50.

(I have a vague recollection of a speed limit of 24mph for agricultural tractors but I'm not sure if it is still valid.)
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17-10-2006, 08:02   #8
Occidental
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golden
it is illegal for a tractor to be on a Motorway.
Not when you're cutting the verges, it's not.
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17-10-2006, 10:16   #9
golden
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I rang the Guards and apparently they said it is illegal for tractors to drive on the Motorways. However I did not mention the maintenance aspect of things. The tractors if they are required to maintain any hedges from a safety point of view would be working in a cordoned off area or another vehicle before the tractor advising of maintenance work being carried out.
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17-10-2006, 10:23   #10
maidhc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishbone Ash
What if they are capable of exceeding 50kph? The JCB Fastrac, MB Unimog, the larger Fendts and others can do 65/70 kph. Are they not permitted to use motorways? I occasionally see a JCB Fastrac on the M1/M50.

(I have a vague recollection of a speed limit of 24mph for agricultural tractors but I'm not sure if it is still valid.)

In the Uk this was definately the case. In Ireland I think it was always a bit of a grey area. I remember legislation was going to be introduced allowing work vehicles run at up to 50k on green diesel, but I have never seen it.

Either way, a tractor with a 50k box can use a motorway:
Quote:
3. (1) Any mechanically propelled vehicle or combination of vehicles (other than an invalid carriage) which—


( a ) is driven by a person holding a driving licence referred to in section 22 (1) of the Act of 1961 authorising him to drive the vehicle, and


( b ) is so constructed that its entire weight is transmitted to the road surface by circular wheels which are equipped with pneumatic tyres, and


( c ) being propelled by an internal combustion engine is so propelled by an internal combustion engine exceeding 50 c.c. in cylinder capacity, and


( d ) is so constructed and in such a condition and so loaded as to be capable of maintaining a speed of 50 kilometres per hour on the level, solely under its own power,



may use a motorway
To the best of my knowledge amber beacons are illegal on tractors, despite the safety benefits attached.
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17-10-2006, 14:12   #11
Wishbone Ash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Occidental
Not when you're cutting the verges, it's not.
That's a different matter anyway as it would be "roadway maintenance".

Quote:
Originally Posted by maidhc
To the best of my knowledge amber beacons are illegal on tractors, despite the safety benefits attached.
That's what I thought. Thanks.
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06-02-2007, 22:18   #12
Victor
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I'm not certain, but I think there are new regulations relating to flashing blue or orange lights. I'm not sure how it affects tractors.

SI 342 of 2006 Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) (Blue and Amber Lamps) Regulations 2006

Quote:
Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) (Blue and Amber Lamps) Regulations 2006
SI 342 of 2006

These Regulations consolidate and update the statutory provisions in relation to the use of flashing blue or amber warning lights on certain vehicles. Under the Regulations, blue flashing lights may be used on vehicles used by the Garda?´, the fire service, an ambulance service, the Irish Marine Emergency Service, the Irish Prison Service and vehicles used for the delivery or collection of human transplant organs, human blood or human blood products.

Amber lights may be used on a breakdown vehicle, a road clearance vehicle, a road works vehicle, a vehicle used in the collection and disposal of refuse, a vehicle used in the provision or maintenance of telephone services or of gas or electricity supply and a Customs and Excise patrol vehicle.

Source: Iris Oifigiúil 11/07/2006
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13-02-2007, 08:49   #13
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Also skips mobile cranes and oversized loads, both of which use amber lamps.
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25-02-2007, 08:51   #14
Wishbone Ash
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Occidental
Also skips mobile cranes and oversized loads, both of which use amber lamps.
Good point - I must have a dig through the regulations governing oversized loads to see if there is any mention of it.
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