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Road safety during harvest

Road safety during harvest

Vehicle and equipment operators need to look out for one another, a Sask. farmer said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Harvest is underway in Saskatchewan, which means farm equipment and regular vehicles will be sharing the road.

About 13 per cent of farm-related fatalities across Canada are traffic related, the Canadian Agricultural Injury Surveillance program says.

Members of the ag industry are reminding motorists to be patient and give farmers the space they need to manoeuvre large machinery.

“Be patient, slow down, wait for your opportunity to pass and do so safely,” Tyler McMurchy, manager of media relations for Saskatchewan Government Insurance, told Northeast Now. “Keep in mind the person driving (the farm equipment) may not be able to see you, so give them plenty of room. They may not be able to signal their intent to slow down, so it’s incumbent on drivers to slow down and anticipate any sudden movements.”

Ensuring everyone who shares the roads gets home safely each night is a joint responsibility.

Farmers and motorists need to work together to create safe driving conditions, said Dan Danielson, a cash crop producer from Eston, Sask.

“Both sides have to look out for one another,” he told Farms.com. “If a piece of farm equipment and a car end up in an accident, everybody in those vehicles could wind up not going home. It’s everybody’s responsibility to make sure we all have safe days on the road.”

Ag for Life has tips for farmers and motorist on how to share the road.

Farmers, for example, could use pilot vehicles and extra reflectors to make machinery more visible, while motorists could stay back at least 50 feet (15 metres) when following behind farm equipment.

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