Police are asking tractor drivers and other slow moving vehicles to make a point of pulling into lay-by’s more often, to allow motorists to get past safely. The support of slow moving motorists in keeping the traffic moving is much appreciated.
Concern has been raised to police about slow-moving tractors holding up traffic along the A40 Gloucester to Ross-on-Wye road, and causing long tailbacks. This risks tempting motorists to overtake when it is not safe to do so.
PC Richard Simpson, of Forest Local Policing Area, said:
“When tractors and other slow moving vehicles don’t pull over when they have the chance to do so, in order to let traffic past, they can cause obstructions and long tailbacks, and they may be committing offence.”
The Highway Code asks slow moving vehicles to pull in when safe to allow traffic to pass.
Rule 169:“Do not hold up a long queue of traffic, especially if you are driving a large or slow-moving vehicle.“Check your mirrors frequently, and if necessary, pull in where it is safe and let traffic pass.”
Failure to pull over when there is a long queue of traffic behind can constitute an offence of inconsiderate driving, which can be punished with three to nine points on a driver’s licence and a fine of up to £5,000.
However NFU's Transport adviser Tom Price says: "The point to note is to pull in when it is safe. There could well be circumstances when it is not safe to use a lay-by, for example, if it is too small for the vehicle concerned.The presence of a lay-by does not automatically mean it has to be used."
Increases in combined tractor speeds from 32km/h to 40km/h had helped to ease congestion on roads also have their part to play by reducing the time period that tractors are on public highways and allowing tractor and trailers to travel more quickly.