Police Issue Warning About Passing Farm Equipment on IL Roads
It's officially fall, and local farmers are BUSY this time of the year. If you're traveling any country road over the next few weeks it is very likely that you will encounter a slow-moving piece of farm equipment on the road somewhere.
Can they be annoying, sure, but someone's hard working family member is behind the wheel of that tractor, so for that reason alone we need to proceed with caution and respect.
If you've ever wondered what the correct way to pass farm equipment on the road is, please read this message shared by the Illinois State Police on Facebook that one of their troopers received from a concerned farmer:
A farmer sent me this request last night and I couldn't agree more with his words. I ask all of you to take a second and realize the gravity of his request. He speaks for thousands of farmers across the country, including my family. (He asked to remain anonymous.)
"I wanted to see if you could possibly address how to safely pass a slow moving farm vehicle on your Facebook page? I have been talking with others in the agricultural community and we have noticed that It is becoming very common to have very very close calls with other motorists as we move our equipment down the road. JUST THIS WEEK I have nearly been struck 6 DIFFERENT TIMES by other motorists from the rear. Most of them on their phones. If you need some material as to what farmers would like to see when we are passed here is a list.
1. SLOW DOWN! It scared us to death when someone passes us going 70 MPH. We have our hands full. These big pieces of equipment aren’t the easiest to control on the road. We try to look behind us as much as possible but we are very busy watching for oncoming traffic, mailboxes, and road signs.
2. A no passing zone is STILL a no passing zone even if you are behind a piece of farm equipment.
3. Almost all of us will wave you around or pull over when it is safe for you to pass.
4. Watch for mailboxes, bridges and guard rails if you meet us. If we are between the guard rail or a mailbox there may not be enough room for you to pass. I have met people on bridges several times. It always ends up with the other motorist backing out of the bridge to let us through. Which causes all sorts of dangerous problems.
5. Be very careful passing at night. Our marker lights don’t necessarily show the edges of our implements. We don’t like to move equipment at night but sometimes it can’t be helped.
I am just trying to think of a way to bring some awareness to the general public. It is truly getting scary out here. It is getting to the point where I honestly fear for my life every time I leave the farm with a tractor."
**The only thing I will add is the reminder that it is illegal to pass at an intersection.**