Department of Agriculture offers harvest season road safety reminders

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) – Motorists should expect to see more slow-moving farm equipment from Indiana’s 57,700 farming operations on Indiana roadways.

Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), Indiana State Police (ISP), Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), as well as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are teaming up for the Be Alert, Slow Down, Share the Road campaign to bring attention to the need for more safety on Indiana’s rural roads.

“This harvest season we are asking all motorists to be alert, slow down and share the road with our Hoosier farmers, especially in rural areas,” Holcomb said in a press release.

By state law farm equipment must have a nationally designated slow-moving vehicle sign – a red triangle shaped reflector – to warn oncoming drivers that their equipment is on the road. These vehicles often travel at speeds no higher than 25 miles per hour.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, farm equipment vehicles (excluding trucks) were involved in 93 fatal crashes across the U.S.

A U.S. Census Bureau survey claimed that an estimated 19 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas in 2014. Despite this information, over half of all traffic fatalities nationwide occurred in rural areas.

“By allowing a little extra time for travel, motorists can reach their destinations and farmers can get their work done without incident or injury,” ISDA Director Ted McKinney said in a press release.

To further educate motorists, the BMV has provided driving schools across the state with educational resources on the topic of rural roadway safety.

For more information, visit Indiana State Department of Agriculture.

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