Limerick gardai swap their boots for wellingtons at the mart

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

THE BIGGEST concern farmers had at a garda stand at Kilmallock Mart was recent legislation governing towing trailers and horse boxes.

THE BIGGEST concern farmers had at a garda stand at Kilmallock Mart was recent legislation governing towing trailers and horse boxes.

Six gardai - four from Bruff district and two from the Traffic Corps - manned the information stand.

Bruff superintendent, Alan Cunningham, said the initiative was part of Garda Community Safety Week.

“We chose the mart on a Bank Holiday Monday as it is a good meeting point. We felt it was a good idea to link in with people and give some advice, especially in relation to farmers towing trailers.

“It gives us an opportunity to let people know what the position is. We don’t like catching people, we would like it if they complied with the law rather than be prosecuted,” said Supt Cunningham.

As well as stressing the laws in relation to towing trailers the superintendent said that many farmers weren’t aware that the lower blood alcohol of 20mg applies to all drivers towing trailers.

“It’s about getting that message out there. Also, there have been a lot of thefts from farms in the district so we took the opportunity to invite somebody with expertise in security systems [Paul Murray of A&M Products]. He was able to tell people what is available,” said Supt Cunningham.

Sergeant Damien Holian was joined by Garda Robert Young; Garda John Curtin; Garda Pat McEnery; and Garda Tony Miniter and Garda Dermot Hallett from the Traffic Corps.

“There was huge interest. We never stopped talking all day. There was a constant queue of people asking about farm security and laws regarding towing trailers. There was a lot of interest in this - what they could tow and couldn’t tow. A lot of people didn’t know that if the trailer and weight is over 750kgs you need to have the extra category on your drivers license to tow it,” said Sgt Holian.

“There was no fear of a prosecution and people were able to inform themselves what the legalities are,” added Sgt Holian, who echoed Supt Cunningham when he said gardai prefer to be talking to farmers at a meeting or at a stand than on the side of the road. Gardai also showed people where to find the towing capacity information in their vehicle.

Log on to www.rsa.ie for detailed information on the legal requirements for towing trailers.