A North-West police force has fined a young farmer caught talking on his mobile phone while driving a tractor and rake.
The incident, which took place on May 27, was shared on Twitter by Cumbria Roads Police.
In the tweet the force said: “Young farmer seen chatting away on his mobile phone. Six points and a £200 fine on its way to him.”
In recent weeks, industry has been quick to call out the ’unacceptable’ and ’dangerous’ behaviour of tractor drivers using mobile phones, with NFU deputy president, Stuart Roberts, issuing his own warning on Twitter.
Not a great start to the morning. On the road this morning I saw two tractors at separate times both with youngish drivers and both on their mobile phones. Come on guys this is simple not acceptable #farmsafety #roadsafety #lensleg— Stuart Roberts (@HertsFarmer) May 12, 2020
Mr Roberts told LAMMA365: “Keeping a mobile phone with you on a farm can be an exceptionally important tool for a farm safety, especially as we often work in isolated areas.
"However I do not want anyone to be under any illusion that there is ever an excuse for using a phone whilst driving a tractor or any other vehicle on the road.
"Not only is it illegal, it can also be highly dangerous to yourself, other road users and pedestrians.”
NFU farm safety and transport policy adviser, Tom Price, added while mobiles were an essential tool for farmers to help run their businesses and keep socially connected, their use on road was banned ‘for a really good reason’.
He said: “Mobile phones are a proven cause of driver distraction and have contributed to many very serious accidents. Phones should not be used in any vehicle on road – car, lorry or tractor.”