Driving a tractor while holding a mobile phone is the most common offence for which farmers have received penalty points over the last three years, the Irish Farmers Journal can reveal.
Analysis of penalty points data from 2019 up until 30 November 2022, the latest figures available, shows that 889 farmers have committed driving offences while in a tractor.
Some 657 farmers (73%) were issued with points for driving while holding a mobile phone over the last three years.
Driving without reasonable consideration is another area where they fell foul of the law, with just over 70 farmers being hit with penalty points for this offence.
Thirteen farmers received penalty points for driving with no insurance.
Defective or bald tyres is another area where there was a large number of penalty points issued to farmers driving tractors, while a number of farmers also ran through red lights and received points.
The number of penalty points issued per county varies widely. For example, only two farmers received penalty points in Leitrim in the last three years, compared to 108 farmers in Cork.
The two offences in Leitrim were driving while holding a mobile phone and driving without reasonable consideration.
In comparison, offences in Cork included holding a mobile phone, learner drivers not being accompanied by a qualified driver, bald tyres and the failure to obey traffic lights.
The counties with the highest number of penalty points issued to tractor drivers were Cork (108,) Wexford (72), Tipperary (72) and Meath (70), while the lowest were Leitrim (two), Sligo (five), Longford (13), Monaghan (13) and Roscommon (13).