With hundreds of Northland sharemilkers preparing to pack up their stock and move to new farms for Gypsy Day the NZ Transport Agency is reminding farmers and other road users to take extra care.
Northland is home to more than 320-thousand milking cows or 9 per cent of New Zealand’s dairy herds.
Many sharemilkers will be taking up new contracts from Saturday May 31.
The NZ Transport Agency’s Northland Journey Manager, Jacqui Hori-Hoult says motorists should be careful and patient around cows that may be moving on the roads between farms or shifted in trucks across longer distances.
Farmers’ droving their stock will need consent from the New Zealand Transport Agency to move stock along or across State Highways.
“We’re keen to assist farmers or sharemilkers to move their stock safely and with minimal disruption to road users, and they should contact us if they need any help or information.”
Gypsy Day tips for farmers:
Plan ahead – choose the most direct route to move stock and only cross or follow the road if it is necessary. Move stock during daylight hours and avoid peak driving times. Keep the stock off well maintained verges.
Drovers must wear high visibility garments and ensure they are visible from 3x the speed limit for example in a 100km/h area = 300 metres, and activate flashing amber beacon lights and temporary warning signs.
Be particularly cautious when moving stock on roads with bends. Signs or a pilot vehicle will be needed around the corner to warn motorists of the stock ahead to avoid an incident which could involve people, vehicles or stock.
If moving machinery drive slowly and, if necessary, have a pilot vehicle to warn other drivers of the wide vehicle following.
Know your obligations under the Land Transport Rule 2004 , a person moving untethered animals from place to place along or across a road must exercise due care towards other road users, and must ensure that any disruption to traffic is minimised. The Health and Safety in Employment Act will typically also apply to stock droving operations in a road corridor.
For more information please contact NZ Transport Agency 0800 44 44 49