Be Safe. Be Seen. Beacons range

Thursday 18th April 2019

Lighting and Visibility on Agricultural Vehicles as per the RSA (Road Safety Authority).

This is an outlining of some of the lighting and visibility laws for agricultural vehicles as outlined by the RSA (Road Safety Authority). Full details can be obtained on the RSA (Road Safety Authority) Web Site.
The following are some questions (from a broader list) posed and answered on the Web Site:

Are all tractors required to be fitted with a flashing amber beacon?

Yes; even vintage tractors unless they’re only taking part in vintage rallies or being used for display purposes.

When should work lamps / ploughing lamps be used?

Work lamps, commonly referred to as ‘ploughing lamps’, are fitted to agricultural tractors and self-propelled agricultural machinery for off-road use only (e.g. in the farm-yard or field) to give extra visibility to perform specific tasks;

These lamps should be switched off when the vehicles are in use on a public road. The regulations ban white lights being used on the rear of a vehicle on public roads as they can confuse and dazzle other road users.

What are the lighting and visibility requirements for agricultural tractors and self-propelled agricultural equipment?

Agricultural tractors and self-propelled agricultural machines must be equipped with full lighting systems (i.e. side lamps, head lamps, rear lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and number-plate lighting) at all times, and not just during lighting up hours.

Are there any lighting/visibility exemptions for older tractors/trailers?

Vintage tractors/machinery (i.e. manufactured or first registered 30 years ago) are exempt from having to be equipped with a full lighting system (i.e. side lamps, head lamps, rear lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and number-plate lighting) provided they are being used during daylight hours only*. This applies to the trailers being towed by them as well.

* Daylight hours means any time outside ‘lighting-up’ hours. ‘Lighting up’ hours is a half hour after sunset until a half hour before sunrise the next day.

What are the revised lighting and visibility requirements for agricultural trailers and interchangeable towed equipment?

Agricultural trailers and interchangeable towed equipment must be equipped with side lamps, rear lamps, stop lamps, indicators and number-plate lighting. They must also be fitted with a marker lamp on their right-hand side if, when coupled to an agricultural tractor, the overall length of the combination is more than 10m;

Agricultural trailers with a DGVW over 3,500kg must also be fitted with reflective rear markings. If these trailers form part of a combination of vehicles that is over 10m long, they must also have reflective side markings;

Finally, a rear ‘LONG VEHICLE’ marking must be fitted to a combination of vehicles over 13m long;

The reflective and ‘LONG VEHICLE’ marking requirements do not apply to pieces of interchangeable towed equipment that can carry more than three times their own unladen weight – for example, slurry tankers, fertiliser or manure spreaders, grain chaser bins and so on.

Do the new laws apply to interchangeable towed equipment (e.g. a baler, crop sprayer, grass rake)?

Yes. However, such equipment will only need lights if, when attached to a tractor or self-propelled agricultural machine, it blocks the lighting and reflectors fitted to the front or rear of the tractor or self-propelled agricultural machine itself.

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