NSW drivers urged to take care during harvest season

If you're a fleet manager in New South Wales, there is an extra safety precaution to take into account as the harvest season continues with the approach of summer.

The Centre for Road Safety has issued a reminder about keeping safe on regional roads and at level crossings in the thick of the grain harvest season, due to increased traffic activity catering to the thriving industry.

"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," Centre for Road Safety General Manager Marg Prendergrast said in a November 13 statement.

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

Grain is one of NSW's most important agricultural sectors, according to Transport for NSW. The industry's crop was valued at $4 billion during 2012-13.

Such is the importance of grain to the state that a few train lines in rural areas are dedicated to transporting harvested crops at this time of year.

To limit the risk of road accidents at this busy time, Transport for NSW has worked with farmers to reduce heavy vehicle movements as much as possible. However, an increase in activity from non-harvest months is inevitable.

Mrs Prendergrast explained that farmers were likely to have tractors running 24 hours around the clock to meet demand.

"Farmers are very cautious about driving on roads and we make sure we maximise visibility with lights and signs on our vehicles," she added.

Keeping your staff safe at all times is one of the most important aspects of your fleet management program, and it's a good idea to educate your drivers on the risks posed during harvest season to ensure they have a safe summer.