Business Guide Factsheet - Mud on the road


Depositing mud on the road is an offence under the Highways Act.   It is the legal responsibility of the farmer to ensure that every precaution is taken to avoid any mud carried off fields is deposited on the road.

As during normal cultivating and harvesting operations some mud may inevitably end up on the road it is important that the following guidelines should be followed.

  • Mud, deposited by tractors and /or appliances when on public roads, should be removed as soon as practical or at least at the end of the working day.
  • Do everything possible to prevent mud being deposited on the road.   This includes cleaning mud from vehicles, as far as practicable, before they are taken onto the road.
  • If there is a danger of mud being accidentally deposited on roads, use authorised ‘Slippery Road’ signs with a ‘Mud on Road’ sub plate to alert other road users.
  • Mud on Road warning signs should be placed at the extremities of any fouling of the carriageway and signs should be fitted with flashing beacons on 'A' Roads.
  • Make sure signs are positioned to give maximum visibility and warning to other road users.
  • Keep a written record of your decisions on whether or not to deploy signs and/or to clean the road.
  • Where a contractor is used, ensure that prior agreement is reached on who is responsible for mud on road issues (signage, cleaning etc).
  • Be prepared to hire in equipment to clean up accidentally deposited mud – check availability in advance.


It is important that when employees are cleaning the road they are clearly visible to other road users.   It is recommended that to ensure they are clearly visible those cleaning the road are should wear reflective florescent clothing.

The Law

Farmers and vehicle operators who deposit mud on the road are potentially liable for a range of offences.   While there is a range of powers available to the police and highways department the primary powers fall under the Highways Act 1980.

Section 148 of the Highways Act 1980 makes it an offence to deposit mud etc on the highway that would interrupt other users of the highway.

Section 149 of the Highways Act 1980 gives the highways authority the power to clean the road and recover its expenses from the person causing the obstruction.


Date Published:

News Article No.: 105/10

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