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Sharing the Road with Harvest Machinery

Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2016 at 6:28 am
Author: Joe Cerwinske

Harvest season is just getting going, and that means there are large, slow-moving farm vehicles on the roads. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says the first thing to remember is farm machinery is usually not moving as fast as it may first appear. In general, they move from half to three-quarters as slow as normal vehicles, so motorists can come up to them faster than they realize. Dunbar advises people to think ahead as soon as they see the vehicle, taking stock on if there is any traffic approaching, how fast it’s moving, and how wide the machinery is. He added, while some farmers will pull off to the shoulder for drivers, they’re not required to do so by law.

While Dunbar emphasizes the importance of motorists staying aware, he also acknowledges farmers must do their part to keep themselves and drivers safe. While farmers may attempt to work with what they can, he says making sure tires and lights are in good working order can go a long way to preventing accidents. Dunbar said there aren’t as many accidents involving farm vehicles and motorists in Washington County as you would find in other places. He attributes that to this being a farming community where people are more aware of machinery on the roads, as well as the efforts of KCII in promoting safe driving practices. Harvest typically lasts from now until as late as December, with various types and sizes of machinery on the roads throughout the season.