9 August 2002

Police to target farm vehicles in East Sussex

SUSSEX police and Health and Safety Executive inspectors are set to target agricultural vehicles being used on roads and farms in East Sussex.

And the HSE says that similar exercises to check on the condition of tractors, trailers and harvesting equipment could soon be instigated by other police forces across the country.

Mike Walters, the HSE inspector organising the blitz, points out that since 1992, 44 self-employed farmers and 30 employees have been killed in transport related incidents.

"Transport is one of the most common cause of fatal accidents in the farming industry," he says.

HSE inspectors and Sussex police traffic officers will be making random checks on agricultural vehicles using public roads, and the HSE also plans to make unannounced visits to farms to make further inspections.

If serious defects are found the HSE says it will take enforcement action which, in some circumstances may lead to a prohibition notice being served stopping the activity immediately.

Failure to comply with a notice is an offence which could lead to a fine of up to £20,000 and/or six months in prison, warns the HSE. &#42