The Butler County Farm Bureau is marking Rural Roads Safety Week by encouraging county drivers to travel safely on roadways this spring, and throughout the year.
“A lot of farmers will be on the roads this week, and next week,” William Thiele, of the Butler County Farm Bureau, said in an interview. ”
Thiele, and other farmers, want to remind drivers that animal-drawn vehicles, and other vehicles designed to travel at speeds of 20 miles per hour or less, will display a red and orange triangle emblem with reflective tape to remind them they need to slow down. To the distracted or impatient motorist, farm vehicles can pose a threat when safe driving practices are not observed, according to the bureau.
The bureau says if a driver is operating a car at 55 miles-per-hour and comes upon a tractor moving 15 miles-per-hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between the car and the tractor.
“We are tasked as farmers to have the Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) triangle on our vehicles,” Guy Daubenspeck, local farmer, said. “The idea is that when people look at that triangle, they associate it with a slow moving vehicle.”
Officials say drivers of slow moving farm vehicles often pull onto the shoulder of a paved road to give other motorists a better view of road conditions and enough room to pass. But, keep in mind that if a shoulder is soft, wet or steep, the farmer cannot move aside because it would cause his equipment to roll over. If the farmer is unable to safely pull his or her vehicle off the road and you feel you must pass, do so with caution.
The goal of the Rural Roads Safety Week campaign is to save lives by reducing the number of accidents involving slow moving farm machinery on rural roads.
The Butler County Farm Bureau is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation.
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