From the NFRW Agriculture Subcommittee
It’s that time of year. Large farm equipment is traveling local roads for spring soil preparation and planting season. It is easy for drivers to get frustrated when caught behind something going less than 25 miles per hour, but try to take a breath and be patient. Your life and the lives of others may depend on it.
There is a shared responsibility for making sure our roadways remain safe. There are certain times of year when farm vehicles will be more prevalent, such as spring planting. Motorists need to recognize that and exercise patience.
Modern farm vehicles have more safety equipment than previous models, including better lighting, but the individual vehicles are much larger and pose a greater danger in a collision. Tractors, planters, sprayers and other farm equipment can be two to three times the height of passenger vehicles, weigh up to 40,000 pounds and take up more than a lane of a traffic.
Drivers should keep in mind that farmers cannot always safely pull over to let others pass, due to road signs, side ditches, the physical nature what they are transporting and other hazards. Conversely, farmers should be courteous and pull over to let others pass when it is safe to do so.
Every new driver learns the meaning of Slow Moving Vehicle emblems displayed on farm equipment and other vehicles. An SMV emblem is a triangle shape, with an orange fluorescent center and red reflective borders. Equipment and other vehicles displaying this emblem are capable of speeds no faster than 25 miles per hour. At road speed, the gap between you and the equipment will close quickly, so immediate caution and slower speeds are prudent.
Safety is always an important consideration, whether at home, on the road, or on the farm. Take time to be safe and share the road this spring.I hope you have a blessed spring, and please take procautions to be safe!