(ESSEX, ON) – The agricultural season has again arrived. The OPP is urging all motorists to be aware of, and courteous to, the community’s farming members.
This is the time of year when encounters with farm vehicles on the roadways increases. Farmers are required to obey the regulations related to proper lighting, towing, and use of slow moving vehicle signs.
At the same time, motorists must slow down, use caution, and have patience.
Regardless of who has the lawful right of way, a car vs a farm tractor and a load of wagons will result in disaster.
The OPP has provided a list of tips to to keep in mind when encountering farm equipment on the roadway.
- Recognize slow moving vehicles by the orange triangle and use caution.
- Realize that farm vehicles travel between 30-40 km/h. Slow down when you see farm equipment on the road and be prepared to stop.
- Watch for left turns. Not all farm vehicles have turn signals – watch for farmer’s signalling a turn using the same hand signals as a bicycle rider.
- Be aware that farmers with long or broad equipment sometimes need to make a wide turn. If a tractor swings right, be careful, it may be starting a left turn.
- The farmer may be unable to pull off the road due to equipment weight or shoulder issues. Wait for a safe opportunity to pass.
- Leave a wide berth when passing. Some farm equipment takes up more than one lane and some pieces of equipment have pieces protruding that can be hard to see.
- When finished passing, don’t stop or slow down in front of the farm vehicle. Large equipment can’t brake as quickly as a car.
Aggressive driving is not only unsafe, it is against the law. Be courteous with farm vehicle operators and treat them as you would any other vehicle on the roadway.