Authorities Urge Motorists And Farmers To Be Alert And Aware This Spring
The fatal tractor accident that killed 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher and involved Chris Soules has brought the topic of farm equipment on the roadway to the forefront. Statistics show that accidents involving tractors increase this time of year as farmers prepare the fields for spring planting. Many will work long hours and work in the fields after dark. Authorities are urging motorists that they need to share the roadways with farmers.
It's understandable that motorists get frustrated by tractors on the roadway. They don't move very fast and can tie up traffic. But authorities remind us that they have just as much of a right to be there as other vehicles. Farmers do have to be properly marked when they take to the roadways. State law requires slow moving vehicles, including tractors, must display an orange warning sign on the back of the vehicle. The state also requires tractors on a road with a speed limit higher than 35 mph display orange flashing lights. Officials have not yet released details in the Soules case if the tractor Mosher was driving was properly marked.
The bottom line is we need to be courteous. We need to share the roadways and for drivers to understand that farmers have a job to do and often that will require driving on a local highway. Farmers need to make sure they have the proper safety signage. Hopefully, the lessons from one tragedy can help prevent another.