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Encouraging driver safety around cattle

Cattle on roadThe continuing dry conditions being experienced in the region have led to an increase in stock movement permit applications. North Coast Local Land Services are reminding road users and North Coast farmers to be aware of the requirements relating to stock on roadsides and of the importance of Cattle Ahead safety signs.

Travelling Stock Reserves in Hernani will be hosting a large number of cattle over the coming weeks and people travelling along the Waterfall Way and Armidale Road will need to take extra care.

Safety, environmental and biosecurity concerns are addressed in Travelling Stock Reserve grazing permit conditions which include requirements for roadside warning signage, the cattle to be disease free and accompanied, and for the vegetation to be well managed.

Gabrielle Blackwell, Land Services Officer for Travelling Stock Reserves, said, "With the school holidays commencing we are expecting lots of holiday-makers to be out on our roads and we're encouraging road users to be aware of livestock on the road and drive accordingly."

Roads and Maritime Services encourages drivers to be aware that when they see a sign with a picture of an animal, or words such as 'stock crossing', they may be approaching animals on or near the road. They also advise that drivers must slow down or stop to avoid crashing with livestock and fines apply if signs are not obeyed.

Cattle ahead safety signCattle producers must display the approved black and yellow warning signs when stock are walking or grazing near or on a road. The warning signs are available from North Coast Local Land Services offices.

Signs must be:

  • displayed when stock are being walked or grazed or within 300 metres of a public road except where a stock proof fence separates the stock from the road.
  • positioned so that a motorist is warned of the presence or likely presence of stock a reasonable distance before the vehicle would first encounter the stock.
  • clearly visible to motorists who approach stock in either direction.
  • positioned so that there is not more than five kilometres and not less than 200 metres between the sign and a place where a vehicle being driven towards the stock would first encounter them.

Gabrielle said, "By paying attention to the signs, drivers will be aware that the cattle are present on the road and will slow down, not only ensuring the safety of the cattle, but more importantly, their own safety."

Signs are available for purchase from North Coast Local Land Services and different sizes are available. Farmers should contact North Coast Local Land Services before they plan to move stock or for information on the requirements for using stock warning signs.

Media contact: Gabrielle Blackwell, North Coast Local Land Services, Phone 6623 3911

Photo captions: Cattle on the road can pose a risk for road users if signs aren't obeyed.