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Farmers at work, watch for Slow Moving Vehicles on the roads

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Vehicle and tractor accidents can be prevented, look for SMV signs

Slow Moving Vehicle, or SMV signs, are the orange triangular signs that are placed on the back of every tractor and piece of equipment

From the Niagara County Farm Bureau,

NIAGARA CO., N.Y. — Now that spring is here, New York Farm Bureau has launched its Share the Road Campaign. Niagara County Farm Bureau President Kevin Bittner understands how important this is. “Last fall, one of our tractors was in an accident and forced off the road. We were lucky that there were only minor injuries. That isn’t always the case. On our farm, we ensure that all drivers are trained on the rules of the road. All equipment displays the proper Slow Moving Vehicle Signs.”

Slow Moving Vehicle, or SMV signs, are the orange triangular signs that are placed on the back of every tractor and piece of equipment. Unfortunately, many people are only acquainted with them because they use them as driveway markers. According to New York State Moter Vehicle Law Section 68.8, “The only use of the SMV emblem shall be as follows: Agricultural equipment, whether towed or self-propelled, designed for operation at speeds not in excess of 25 miles per hour when traveling on a public highway… The SMV emblem shall not be put to any use other than prescribed by this Part.” The signs are also on the back of combines, harvesters and other farm vehicles.

Most tractors have a top speed of around 30 miles an hour. On country roads with a 55 mile an hour speed limit, this can create a hazard. While it is tempting to pass the slower vehicle, it is important to do it safely in a passing zone.

Another danger point for tractors is turning. Whether turning into a field or another road, farmers slow even more to do this safely. Often with wide equipment, the turn make take more space as well. Tractors today are equipped with turning signals, flashers and other warning devices. In addition, some farmers use hand signals to let drivers know which way they are turning.

As the weather gets warmer, more tractors will be on the road. Farm Bureau asks all drivers to be aware of this and use caution. Growing our food is important to the health and economic growth of our community. Let’s work together to keep this a safe endeavor for all.

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