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Summer is the time of year when tractors and combine harvesters are common on rural roads and courtesy must extend both ways when roads are being shared with other motorists.

Statistics supplied by the Ministry of Transport show there were 28 serious or minor injury crashes involving tractors on New Zealand roads in 2011, 23 in 2012 (including two fatal) and 20 in 2013.

And most are preventable.

The movement of agricultural vehicles on roads can increase the risk of a crash, particularly when the vehicle has to operate slower than other traffic or travel at night or in bad weather. Police do receive complaints about agricultural vehicles (predominantly tractors) not pulling over for other motorists. While these vehicles are legally allowed to be on the road, most with a 40kmh speed limit, they are still not allowed to impede traffic flow.

Drivers of agricultural vehicles should make sure any front or rear implements or other vehicles being towed by the agricultural vehicle aren't covering the flashing beacon or the indicators.

Source: Stuff.co.nz

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