A WARNING has gone out to motorists about the danger of driving during harvest season.

The Safer Roads Partnership and West Mercia Police have issued the warning as farmers are using the roads more when harvesting and moving their produce.

This burst of activity this time of year traditionally sees a rise in road collisions with a significant number involving agricultural vehicles on rural roads with 60mph speed limits and many near turnings into farms.

A further hazard is caused by mud and debris being brought onto the roads by tractors and other vehicles that have been working in the fields.

Chief Inspector Steve Owen, policing operations for and West Mercia Police said: “Every year we face problems with agricultural vehicles leaving large amounts of mud and debris on the roads during the harvest season.

“While the majority of farmers take steps to ensure they keep the roads clear and safe, not all are as diligent.

“We would like to remind farmers and contractors of their responsibilities under the Highways Act.”

Anna Higgins, communications manager at the Safer Roads Partnership, said: "We appreciate that during this time of year farmers have to increasingly use the region’s roads to transport their crops and that this will affect local traffic at times.

“Although many drivers of agricultural vehicles use the roads in a responsible way, we are reminding them to be aware of the impact they can have and consider other road users while they undertake their work.

“During busy traffic periods, pull into a lay-by or safe place to allow other vehicles to pass safely, to avoid traffic build-up and prevent unsafe overtaking manoeuvres.”

Drivers of agricultural vehicles or anyone wishing to report any issues regarding debris or mud on the road can call Worcestershire Hub on 01905 765765.