Tractor and trailer lighting – know the rules

Revised lighting regulations will come into effect from January 1, 2016 with respect to all vehicles, according to the Road Safety Authority.

The requirements apply to tractors, trailers, towed equipment, fully mounted equipment and self-propelled agricultural machinery.

Farmers who break these new requirements will face fixed charged fines it says, which have been in place since August 2012.

Offenders will face a €60 fixed charged fine if paid within 28 days and €90 if paid within a further 28 days.

The main offences include:

  • Using a vehicle or trailer not equipped with prescribed lamps and identification mark lighting
  • Using a vehicle not equipped with prescribed rear projecting load lamp or lateral projecting load lamp
  • Using a trailer not equipped with prescribed marker lamp

Farmers must also be aware of the other requirements of the new legislation.

  • Agricultural tractors must be equipped with full lighting systems at all times.
  • All tractors bar those used in vintage rallies must be fitted with a flashing amber beacon when in use in a public place.
  • Agricultural tractors and self-propelled agricultural machines manufactured or registered before 1 January 1980 do not require lights during the daytime.
  • Equipment being drawn by an exempt tractor do not need lights as long as they are being used during the day light hours.
  • Agricultural trailers must be equipped with side lamps, rear lamps, stop lamps, indicators and number plate lighting.
  • When tractor and trailer length exceeds 10m it must be fitted with a marker lamp on the right hand side.
  • Agricultural trailers with a DGVW over 3,500kg must be fitted with reflective rear markings, if it is longer then 10m it must have reflective side markings.
  • A rear ‘LONG VEHICLE’ sign must be fitted to tractors and trailers exceeding 13m long.
  • Non-towed equipment will only need lights if it blocks the lighting and reflectors fitted to the front or rear of the tractor.
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