Slow Moving Vehicle Safety

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Spring is here in full swing. Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and bees are beginning to buzz around. Small grain crops are beginning to shoot up and produce seed heads and farmers are preparing to put other crops in the ground. Here in Sampson County, corn planting season is right around the corner and there will probably be some planted by Easter. Tobacco is growing well in the greenhouse, most that I have seen looks to be even and nearly ready to mow for the first time. Hopefully the good news will continue as the growing season gets under way.

As planting time draws nearer, large farm equipment will be more prevalent on the roads. Farmers will soon be preparing their fields and planting their crops and the only way to get the equipment to the field is down the roadways. Please stay vigilant as you go out on the roads and slow down for farm equipment. Most of the time, farm equipment on the highways is only traveling a short distance so have some patience when you encounter them. Farmers will see that they are causing a delay and move over to let cars pass but with some equipment exceeding 15 feet in width, it may not always be possible for them to pull over and when they do there may only be a narrow section of highway to allow cars to pass. Some modern agriculture equipment is factory equipped with safety lights such as turn signals, however there are still many older pieces of equipment that do not have such lighting. Often farmers will use hand signals to let others know when they are turning or if it is okay to pass. With that being said, you should never assume what their hand signals mean, which is why you should always use caution when sharing the road with farm equipment. Farming is a dangerous profession that utilizes big machines to grow the crops that we all need for food and fiber. These crops are essential for farmers to ensure they can provide for their families as well as maintaining a reliable, safe, and economical source of food and other agriculture products for everyone. In the event you encounter farm equipment while on the road, remember to always remain cautious and to never get too close to the equipment.

As we near the beginning of another growing season, farmers will be continuously working to get their crops in the fields that will eventually be harvested to provide us with many products that we take for granted on a daily basis. Remember that if you encounter a farmer and their equipment while on the highway, it is best to always play it safe and remain patient in order to ensure everyone returns home safely.

Tractor in field