NSW Centre for Road Safety issues safety warning

New South Wales’ Centre for Road Safety this week reminded regional communities to be alert on roads and at railway level crossings in the coming months as the grain harvest season continues.

Grain is one of the state’s most important agricultural industries, with the NSW grain crop valued at nearly $4 billion in 2012-13.

According to Marg Prendergast, General Manager at Centre for Road Safety, each harvest season brings increased heavy vehicle and train traffic as grain is transported from farms and onto market.

“Grain harvest season in NSW began in the state’s north in October and extends south until early 2014,” Prendergast said.

“Heavy vehicle movements increase significantly during harvest season. There is more farming machinery on our roads and level crossings that experience few trains for much of the year spring to life.

“Motorists and other roads users in need to be aware of these changes to conditions follow the road rules and take extra care.”

Transport for NSW has worked with the farming community to keep heavy vehicle movements as low as possible, but there will still be an increase on non-harvest months.

According to the Centre for Road Safety, there are more trucks on the road transporting grain and tractors and harvesters on the road that are moving between properties as part of the harvest.

Ms Prendergast said the harvest was a “very active time for farmers” and that many had tractors and harvesters running almost 24 hours a day.

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