Motorists urged to monitor agricultural equipment | Garrett Lawn Mower

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FORT WAYNE – Harvest season has arrived and for some that means visiting pumpkin fields and apple orchards, but Indiana State Police remind motorists that harvest season also means farmers will start harvesting this year’s corn and soybeans.

This means that more slow-moving farm equipment will circulate on rural Indiana’s roads and highways. The police want to remind everyone to stay alert and be courteous to make sure we all get home safely.

“Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year, and I know for many others it’s their favorite too. As I travel along our rural roads, I often encounter tractors, grain wagons and combines traveling between fields to harvest their crops, ”said Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch. “I want to encourage all motorists to slow down, be patient and be on high alert for farm equipment on our roads this harvest season.”

In 2019 in Indiana, farm equipment vehicles (other than trucks) were involved in three crashes, including one fatal, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.

“The harvest season is a busy time for both farmers and motorists, I want to remind everyone to slow down and be courteous on our rural roads and highways,” said Bruce Kettler, department manager of Indiana Agriculture. “Slow farm equipment typically moves at 25 miles per hour or less, so be careful when approaching. “

Farm equipment during the harvest season can include tractors, combines, grain wagons, grain wagons, and large trucks transporting agricultural produce. These vehicles are wide, sometimes take up most of the road, and often go at speeds as low as 25 mph.

The following list includes several safety tips for motorists approaching large farm implements:

• Farmers will stop when they can let motorists pass, but it may take time to get to a safe place to do so;

• Be patient. The agricultural equipment is large, sometimes occupying most of the road;

• Be careful when passing. Do not go through a designated “no-way zone” or within 100 feet of an intersection, railway crossing, bridge, elevation structure or tunnel;

• Do not attempt to pass a slow vehicle on the left without making sure the vehicle is not planning to turn left. It may appear that the driver is pulling over for you to pass as they are actually preparing to turn. You will go straight on his path, thus endangering the farmer;

• Avoid bottoming out, as some agricultural equipment may have to stop suddenly along the road; and

• Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, be aware of alternative routes, and avoid distractions.

“Despite the encouragement of motorists and farmers to take extra precautions on the roads during harvest season, accidents still happen every year,” said Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter. “One death is one too many. I want to remind everyone to stay alert and use caution when traveling the rural roads of Indiana this fall. “

For a list of safety tips, visit isda.in.gov. The following organizations will work together to share this important safety message during the planting season: Hoosier Ag Today, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Transportation, and Indiana State Police.


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