Lighting and Visibility

Changes to the Lighting & Visibility Requirements for Agricultural Vehicles.

Introduction

There are serious road safety risks associated with using poorly lit agricultural vehicles on public roads. Rear end collisions often occur when motorists approaching agricultural vehicles from behind misjudge the speed difference between their own vehicle and that of a slower moving agricultural one.

Furthermore side impact collisions often occur when motorists collide with an agricultural vehicle that is attempting to make a wide right hand turn.

In order to address these issues, revised agricultural vehicle lighting & visibility requirements are being introduced requiring agricultural vehicles to be fitted with appropriate lighting systems and reflectors.

Tractors and self-propelled agricultural machinery are already likely to meet the revised obligations and therefore the improvements will mainly affect larger agricultural trailers and pieces of interchangeable towed equipment.

The new obligations are effective from 1st January 2016.

Summary of Revised Lighting & Visibility Requirements for Agricultural Vehicles


A summary of the revised standards is as follows:

Agricultural tractors and self-propelled agricultural machines must be equipped with full lighting systems (including side lamps, head lamps, rear lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and number plate lighting) at all times and not only during lighting up hours. However an exemption is being provided from this requirement for agricultural tractors and self-propelled agricultural machines manufactured or first registered prior to 1st January 1980 and also to any agricultural trailer, fully mounted agricultural equipment or piece of interchangeable towed equipment being drawn by or attached to them provided such a vehicle or combination of vehicles are being used during daylight hours only.

Agricultural tractors and self-propelled agricultural machines must also be fitted with a flashing amber beacon, with an exemption from this requirement being provided for vintage agricultural tractors taking part in vintage rallies.

In instances where an agricultural tractor or self-propelled agricultural machine has its lights obscured by an agricultural trailer, piece of interchangeable towed equipment or fully mounted agricultural equipment drawn by or attached to it (either on the front or to the rear of the vehicle), such an agricultural trailer, piece of interchangeable towed equipment or fully mounted agricultural equipment must be fitted with a lighting board displaying the required lighting.

Agricultural trailers and interchangeable towed equipment must be equipped with side lamps, rear lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and identification mark lighting. They must also be fitted with a marker lamp on their right hand side if, when coupled to an agricultural tractor, the overall length of the combination exceeds 10 metres. Marker lamps fitted to trailers manufactured on or after 1 January 2016 must comply with modern UN/ECE specifications.

Agricultural trailers with a Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW) exceeding 3,500kg must also be fitted with reflective rear markings and those with a DGVW exceeding 3,500kg and forming part of a combination of vehicles exceeding 10 metres in overall length must, in addition to the reflective rear markings, be fitted with reflective side markings. Rear and side markings fitted to trailers manufactured on or after 1 January 2016 must comply with modern UN/ECE specifications.

A rear ‘LONG VEHICLE’ marking must also be fitted to agricultural trailers forming part of a combination of vehicles exceeding 13 metres in overall length.

Note that the reflective and ‘LONG VEHICLE’ marking requirements do not apply to pieces of interchangeable towed equipment where the ratio of the Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW) to the unladen weight is equal to or greater than 3.0, i.e. to equipment such as slurry tankers, fertiliser or manure spreaders and grain chaser bins etc.

If you are unsure as to whether your vehicles comply with these revised standards, we recommend you contact the vehicle manufacturer or their authorised distributor for advice. Nevertheless, some practical advice, including tips on achieving compliance with the revised standards, is contained in our list of lighting & visibility related ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.