Transport rules – coroner’s beacon warning

16 January 2024

An image of a flashing amber beacon

The NFU is reminding farmers of the rules on amber beacons and agricultural vehicles, after an inquest found that the positioning, type and brightness used on a trailer in West Sussex could have contributed to the death of a motorcyclist.

The coroner took the step of filing an additional Report to Prevent Future Deaths after determining that an amber beacon might have masked the indicator of a tractor and trailer turning right and played a part in the death of a 48-year-old.

Your legal requirements

Beacons must be:

  • Fitted to any vehicle/machine with four wheels or more that is legally restricted to travel 25mph/40kmph or under on unrestricted dual carriageways.
  • Fitted so that the centre of the beacon is at least 1.2m vertically from the ground.
  • Emit light flashes at least 60-240 per minute, with consistent intervals between each emission.
  • Two must be fitted to an escort vehicle when escorting a vehicle that travels 25mph/40kmph or less.
  • Emit light in 360 degrees, for example rotational beacons.
  • Visible from 360 degrees around the vehicle and any load it is transporting from a reasonable distance.
  • Additional lamps are required for any blind spots around the vehicle where other beacons are not visible.

Beacons must not be:

  • Unidirectional flashing lamps.
  • Able to be misinterpreted as indicators, including positioning and the way the beacons flash.

For more contact NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458 or download our Business Guides on transport.

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