Farm Bureau Promotes Highway Safety
The activities for the day were hosted by Fulton Valley Ag Services. The event was sponsored by Fulton County Farm Bureau and coordinated by board member Donald Bard, who welcomed those present and stated the purpose of the event was to draw attention to the increased presence of agricultural equipment on the roadways, beginning in the early spring and continuing throughout the summer and into the autumn harvest season.
Harry Johnston, Jim Butts and President Reed Englert all addressed the seriousness of comingling large pieces of agricultural equipment and highway vehicles, such as automobiles and trucks, by sharing some of their close-call experiences as agequipment operators. Englert stressed the need to use the SMV(slow moving vehicle) emblem on the rear of all equipment on the highway.
Also in attendance was Trooper Falkosky of the Pennsylvania State Police, who advised vigilance to the ag community when operating equipment on the county roadways. He also covered the regulations regarding vehicles that overtake or pass other vehicles, including farm equipment, and that making left turns is hazardous especially when line of sight to the rear is blocked. He highly recommended the use of flag or warning vehicles, front and rear if possible, when wide loads were being driven or towed on the the roadways.
Some facts to keep in mind:
A vehicle traveling 55 miles per hour approaches a tractor traveling at 15 miles per hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between the auto and the tractor.
If a vehicle must slow to 20 miles per hour and follow a tractor for two miles, just six minutes of time will elapse, about the same as waiting for two redlights. Patience will keep everyone safe.
Contributing to the activities of the event were Farm Bureau Regional Organizational Director Fred Brown, Greg Strait, extension education coordinator, members of the ag and Farm Bureau community, Fulton County commissioners Dave Hoover and Craig Cutchall, who offered any assistance they may have at their disposal, and members of the Johnston family who opened their facilities for use and provided some much-needed refreshments.
In 2007, there were 82 recorded crashes involving agricultural equipment and other vehicles on Pennsylvania’s highways resulting in two fatalities. We can do much better, be vigilant, be careful – be safe!