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Be cautious around farm equipment

By Livvy Preisser

Special to The Smithfield Times

With spring in full force, you can expect to see more farm equipment on the roads so please be cautious and respectful.

Transportation incidents and tractor rollovers are the leading causes of agriculture fatalities.

The state law requires anything that travels 25 miles per hour or slower to be marked with a slow moving vehicle sign. The sign is a triangular orange sign. Most farm equipment travels at 25 mph or slower and will have the slow moving vehicle sign displayed on the back of equipment.

Along with the sign, most farm equipment will have lights flashing to indicate a slow moving vehicle and to stay alert. Some farmers will have escort vehicles to notify approaching drivers of a slow moving vehicle.

It is also important to note that most farm equipment is very large compared to cars. Larger tractors, sprayers and combines need more than one lane to safely travel down the roadway. You may come across tractor-trailers or trucks that are driving slower, and they have Farm Use tags. Most of these trucks are hauling grain from the field to the elevators, so please be patient with them as well. If you find yourself behind farm equipment please be patient, provide plenty of room, and stay alert. Please be mindful when passing farm equipment, as most accidents happen when someone tries to pass and the farmer is turning left or making a wide turn.

Remember these few tips so you as well as the farmers can be safe on the road.

  • Be patient
  • Share the road and provide plenty of space
  • Use caution when passing or using back roads going around turns