Who cleans up when the field continues on the street? – Stuttgart Journal


In late summer and autumn in particular, there is a boom in agriculture. For other road users, tractors and combine harvesters can become a real nuisance, but in most cases this can be tolerated with a certain amount of patience.

However, a road soiled by agricultural traffic can even become life-threatening: as soon as it rains on the dirt or even freezes over, the road turns into a slide. Who is responsible for cleaning up the street quickly?

A dirty street usually does not have to be cleaned by the police or the road maintenance department

The Road Traffic Act provides that whoever pollutes the road through agricultural work is also responsible for cleaning it. This can apply to both a farmer and a contractor.

Although farmers do not intend to pollute the road, crop residues, soil and dirt can end up on the road. Because all of this can stick to the tires of tractors, trucks and combine harvesters and be worn away again on the road.

According to current law, farmers and contractors must clean roads that they have soiled themselves as quickly as possible.

The legal background is defined in § 32 of the Road Traffic Act (StVO): It is forbidden to soil or wet the street or to bring objects onto the street or leave them there if this could endanger or impede traffic.

Which devices are suitable for cleaning the street?

It is obvious that most farmers or agricultural contractors do not have the equipment of a road maintenance depot. However, this circumstance does not exempt from the obligation to clean the dirty road. However, HEN AG offers equipment that can be easily attached to a tractor, similar to a plow or a harvester.

Others are attached to the front of the agricultural implement. These are primarily brush systems that mechanically remove the dirt on the road. This equipment is also suitable for removing leaves and sometimes also for removing weeds. The purchase is therefore worthwhile in several respects, because after the harvest you can also free the yard and the driveway from dirt in this way.

Farmers must put up signs to protect polluted roads

Every farmer knows that during harvest it is almost impossible to clean the road after every crop that leaves the field.

It is therefore important to mark the danger zone with signs. Farmers and contractors who carry out street cleaning work are even obliged to do so. The police have the right to prohibit the work immediately if this is not the case.

To be on the safe side legally, you should inquire with the relevant road traffic office whether you need a permit for the installation of signs and whether there is a fee to pay for it. It is good to know that some municipalities provide hazard signs if required.

Farmers must set up these danger signs

The farmer should put up the traffic sign 101 “Danger area” before starting the harvest work. The additional sign 1007-35 “dirty road” is recommended. The signs are placed at a distance of 150 to 250 m before entering the field. Alternatively, sign 114 “Risk of skidding or slipping” can be used. The signs can be ordered online from traffic sign suppliers, the total costs are in the low three-digit range.

In the event of an accident, the farmer or contractor is responsible. The pollution of the road should be cleared up as soon as possible, because in accidents related to unclean roads, the farmer and the contractor are fully liable. If nobody takes care of cleaning the street, the street cleaning services of the municipality, municipality or city can pass on the costs to the polluter. A fine of up to €1,000 can also be imposed.

Farmer or contractor: who has to clean the streets?

The polluter must remove the pollution. So if a contractor soils the road during his harvesting work, he is responsible for it. However, he can transfer the cleaning obligation to the customer, e.g. B. on the farmer. It is therefore advisable to clarify in advance who will be responsible for cleaning the streets.

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