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By Gary Smee Monday 02 December 2013 Updated: 02/12 13:55
MOTORISTS are being warned to watch out for mud left on the roads by tractors and other agricultural vehicles.
With the harvesting season in full swing and wet weather likely, bosses at the area's Safer Roads Partnership say there is an increasing chance of drivers coming across slippery mud and debris on rural routes.
Farmers and contractors have a legal obligation to ensure their vehicles are cleared of any dirt before entering the public highway and the police are warning they will take a tough stance against anyone who does not comply with the rules.
Superintendent Lee Davenport, part of the policing operations team at Warwickshire and West Mercia Police, said: "Every year we face problems with agricultural vehicles leaving large amounts of mud and debris on the roads during the harvest season.
"While the majority of farmers take steps to ensure they keep the roads clear and safe, not all are as diligent.
"We would like to remind farmers and contractors of their responsibilities under the Highways Act.
"We have already taken action against offenders who haven’t complied with this legislation and will continue to take a tough stance against anyone who we believe is being reckless and irresponsible."
Dedicated telephone numbers have now been set up in the county so people can report any mud or debris on the carriageway.
Anna Higgins, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, added: "We’re advising all motorists to take extra care on rural roads during the late harvest season.
"Excess mud is a danger to cars, motorbikes and cyclists and can change the way a vehicle handles and can cause skidding, especially in wet conditions like we’ve had recently.
"If you see a ‘mud on the road’ sign please take this seriously, drive with caution and treat this the same way that you would with icy or slippery roads."
A spokeswoman for the National Farmers' Union said it was working with the police and councils to raise awareness of the issue in the farming community.
To report mud on the road call the Worcestershire Hub on 01905 765765 or people in Warwickshire should phone 01926 412 515.
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