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Alert on rural roads - Expect heavy farm traffic


As farmers commence their spring planting, the roads get busier with heavy farm equipment. During Rural Roads Safety Week, held April 14-20, many Farm Bureau and state agencies, the Department of Agriculture, and State Police have united to urge motorists to be extra vigilant.

The call for increased awareness is backed by statistics from PennDOT, highlighting 83 crashes involving farm machinery last year in Pennsylvania alone. These incidents point to the broader implications for safety on rural roads, which saw over 33,000 crashes and 607 fatalities.

Chris Hoffman, President of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, stresses that while farmers do their part by pulling over to let traffic pass, the cooperation of motorists is crucial. Encounters with farm equipment are frequent during this season, and understanding and patience from drivers are paramount.

Farm equipment is legally allowed on the roads, and it's vital for drivers to recognize the Slow-Moving Vehicle emblem—an orange triangle with a red outline—signaling them to decelerate. Motorists should be especially cautious of farm vehicles that might make sudden turns into fields or across roads.

Safety week activities include demonstrations and community outreach programs across the state, aimed at educating drivers about the risks and safe practices when driving near farm equipment. By adhering to safety guidelines and respecting farm operations, drivers can contribute significantly to reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring a safer environment for everyone on the road.

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