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Above the Law

Being new the the country life - I just wish to add to points of observation and ask if this is the norm and just ignored please.!

On this websire - I have read recently about the parking and general inconsideration of drivers in and around Halesworth.

I have noticed a considerable amount of mud on the road between Halesworth, Wissett and Rumburgh. This is not caused by cars, but by agricultural vehicles. Over the past months, I have noticed that no-one has cleaned or removed `their mud from the road, which is contrary to the road traffic act. In fact, just recently, a sign was left saying "Mud on Road" and the mud is left ,to be driven over and coat our vehciles.

Secondly - I see plenty of Police Casualty Reduction Units (Speed Camera Vans) dotted all over the area.  To drive down casualties and to promote acceptable driver behaviour.  So why is that every single weekday, usually twice a day - several cars are being parked on the yellow lines and zig-zags outside the school and directly OPPOSITE the Halesworth Police Station. It appears to me that  the welfare and safety of the children are being compromised right under our and Police noses - and will no doubt continue until a child gets hurt.  So tagging on to the recent conversation about parking and buses - It appears to be to the convenience of the minority rather than safety of others - Very selfish. 


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Helen B
I am with you all the way on the comments you have made.  Agriculturilists attempt to avoid any responsibility for accidents caused by mud they have failed to clear up by leaving a 'Mud on Road' sign.  By imforming road users they have left this mess they believe they are no longer legally responsible.  I'm not sure if that's true or not, I have never investigated it that deeply. 
But it's as irritating as others I know who throw their dog poo into the road rather than clearing it up properly.
Bill E
Well, this is the countryside after all and given the constant wet conditions we have experienced for months on end it's inevitable that farmers will leave mud on the roads. They do ,of course, have to constantly access there fields and can't possibly clear the roads all the time though they should of course be aware of their responsibility to other road users. Welcome to Suffolk, take care out there !.
Helen B
I have copied and pasted this from the NFU website.  It should not be "inevitable" that they leave mud on the road. It is clear from NFU that they are breaking the law.  I have lived in the area for over 20yrs and still have not got used to the danger this practice creates.  My children are now of driving age and I am constantly worrying not about the heavy traffic in the cities but the danger nearer home.

"Depositing mud on the road is an offence under the Highways Act.  It is the legal responsibility of the farmer to ensure that every precaution is taken to avoid any mud being carried off the field.  Accepting that in cultivating and harvesting operations some mud will inevitably end up on the road, it is important to make arrangements to remove it immediately." (taken from National Farmer's Union website).
Anne T
You are quite right - farmers have a legal responsibility both to put up clear  warning signs when they are carrying out work which will spread mud on the road, and also to ensure that the mud is removed sufficiently so as not to be a danger to others. 
Some of you may remember a fatal accident on the B1117  just outside Halesworth about 12 years ago, where a driver was killed and her passenger injured. This was as a result of the car skidding on wet mud and crashing into a telegraph pole. The mud had been deposited on the road the day before during sugar beet harvesting, and made worse by heavy overnight rain. As I recall, the police had received several complaints the day and night before the accident and the farmer was advised to put up warning signs and to clear up the mud as soon as possible, both of which he failed to do.
I drove along the same stretch of road minutes after the accident and very nearly suffered the same fate
because of the slippery surface and lack of warning.
Some months later I was called to give evidence at the Coroner's Inquest into the death.
Unusually this was held  was held with a jury, who found that the farmer had been negligent, and had failed in his duty to put up clear warning signs and  to remove the mud from the road. He was heavily fined.

My advice to anyone concerned about the hazard of wet mud on the road is to report it immediately  to the local police station/your Community Police Officer . If you are not happy with the response you receive then you should telephone  or email your local County Councillor, make a complaint and invite them to come and see for themselves.
David M
Who would be a Farmer
Terry R inactive
My observations were not to knock farmers or criticise country life. Or how tough it must be to be a farmer...Lets put it another way - If I was to live in the big city of London and get mugged - Should I then take comfort in knowing that I should have expected it and `welcome to city life`.  .

When mud is left in excess - then yes, I think it should be dealt with by the person that deposited there - Perhaps the company should be held accountable - Perhaps Waveney D.C should claer it u and bill the company.Did anyone drive along the Bungay straight today. ??  Just leave it on the road - someone else will clear it up - Perhaps I should start throwing litter out of my car window. After all there are no litter bins, coz I`m in the country and not in a town. 

I fully accept that agricultural vehicles will deposit mud on the roads - It is the nature of the beast and has to be and IS accepted by those living in the country - But having accepted this - How often has any reader said "Look at the state of this road with the mud" It is at that point, when I think its gone beyond `living in the country` and become anti social and is someone elses problem not mine - so who cares..!!!???

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