It’s that time of the year, again, when motorists traveling through the Lake Area, and statewide, will begin seeing more signage being posted MoDOT.
Central District Area Engineer Bob Lynch says the increased number of signs are intended to enhance safety along our roadways “We try to put out messages…like is there a parade in the area. There are different things that happen throughout the rest of the year that typically happen, so we try to remind the travelers that they may encounter something other than typical.”
Lynch goes on to say that slow-moving farm equipment will become the main obstacles during this time of the year.
Farmers, Motorists Encouraged To Stay Alert During Harvest Season
Farming plays a vital role in Missouri’s economy, history, and identity. Our farmers are hard at work harvesting their crops and will be for the coming weeks. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds drivers to share the road. Expect to see an increase in farm machinery traffic–especially on rural highways. Please obey all traffic laws and remain vigilant. Farmers and motorists alike are encouraged to be safe, courteous drivers.
In 2020, there were 199 Missouri traffic crashes involving farm equipment. In those crashes, two people were killed and 73 were injured.
Whether you’re driving a vehicle or operating farm machinery, you must pay attention to the roadway, other drivers, and traffic signs. Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers. Please pay attention and share the road!
Farmers, please make sure your farm equipment is properly marked with lights and a “slow-moving vehicle” emblem when you travel on the roadway. If traffic accumulates behind you on the road where it is difficult to make a safe pass, pull off onto the side of the road in a level area, so vehicles can pass. Always drive as far to the right as possible. It’s harder to see you at dawn or dusk, so please don’t travel on the road during those times if possible. Remember: Missouri law allows agricultural machinery and implements to be operated on state highways between the hours of sunset and sunrise for agricultural purposes provided such vehicles are equipped with the required lighting. Like other motor vehicles, most modern farm tractors have seat belts. Always use a seat belt when operating a tractor equipped with a roll-over protection structure. Often, all-terrain vehicles are used for agricultural purposes. ATVs being used for farming can only travel on highways during daylight hours and must be equipped with lights, a bicycle flag, and a “slow-moving vehicle” emblem. The law requires anyone under the age of 18 to wear a safety helmet when operating an ATV; the Patrol, however, recommends operators wear a safety helmet regardless of age.
Drivers, it’s important that you do your part! Stay alert for slow moving farm equipment. When you come up behind a tractor or other farm machinery, please slow down and be patient. Wait to pass until you have a clear view of the road ahead and there is no oncoming traffic. Never pass on a hill or curve. Collisions commonly occur when a motorist tries to pass a left-turning farm vehicle. A tractor that appears to be pulling to the right side of the road to let motorists pass, may be preparing to make a wide left turn. Watch the farmer’s hand and light signals closely. It’s important that you pay close attention to farm equipment entering and leaving the highway from side roads and driveways. Special attention must be paid when traveling at dawn or dusk when the sun makes it difficult for drivers to see.
Traffic safety is everyone’s responsibility. It’s that simple.
Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri. The choices you make when you’re behind the wheel matter. Make good choices, so you’ll never have to say, “If I could just go back …”