Farmers ahead, share the road

Staff Report

YADKINVILLE — With harvest time upon us, you will start seeing more large and slow moving farm equipment on the highways and roads around Yadkin County and throughout the state, most farm equipment will travel at 25 mph or less. Farmers will be moving equipment on North Carolina’s road ways from farm to farm and field to field this fall and throughout the year, which according to NC law, they are legally entitled to do.

In North Carolina 51 percent of highway accidents that involve farm equipment results in injury or death. Most farm equipment travels the roadways in the fall (harvest) and spring (planting), but farming is a year round job, and equipment can be on the road year round.

For this reason, Yadkin County Farm Bureau has relaunched a safety initiative from several years ago. As motorist travel the rural roads and high ways of Yadkin County they will see billboards reminding them “FARMERS AHEAD: SHARE THE ROAD.” Most accidents involving farm equipment and motor vehicles occur during daylight hours, on a clear day, and/or on a dry surface that is paved. The most common types of accidents that involve farm equipment are: the equipment is rear-ended by a motorist and t-boned when the farm equipment is turning left and the motorist tries to pass.

Farm Bureau’s goal for this campaign is to make motorist aware of the fact that wide and slow moving equipment will be in the roadways in Yadkin County. Through awareness Farm Bureau hopes to make the roadways safer for our farmers and all those who travel the roads. Generally speaking the amount of time spent following a slow moving tractor on a rural highway is the same amount of time that one would spend sitting at a stop light.

“Our board of directors recognized the need to bring more awareness to the fact that farm equipment is on the roads. In the last few months there seems to have been an increase in farm equipment involved accidents in neighboring counties, and the board of directors felt the time was appropriate to launch this awareness campaign again,” said Justin Somers, president of Yadkin County Farm Bureau.

Farm Bureau hopes to get more information out through their partnership with WIFM radio in Elkin and also to distribute informative fliers.

“The take home message here, is first be on the lookout for equipment traveling our roads and second when you do encounter farm equipment slow down, be patient and only maneuver your vehicle in the safest manner possible,” added Somers.

Staff Report