Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — As our state’s vibrant agricultural industry becomes more present on the roadways this time of year, the N.C. State Highway Patrol reminds motorist of practices they can take to keep everyone safe.
It is legal in North Carolina for farm equipment to travel on public roads except for controlled access roadways such as interstates. Farm equipment in general would be more active on roadways during the early morning and late evening periods and in areas that could be marked with NCDOT warning signs indicating their potential presence.
Although this time of year and the fall are peak times for farm equipment to be used along our state’s roadways, the public should be alert to their presence year-round.
“Our farmers are out working hard right now as they are one of North Carolina’s most important economic engines,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Please be careful when you see farm trucks and equipment out on the road so they can do their jobs while everyone stays safe.”
Types of typical farm machinery collisions include rear-end collisions due to the farm vehicles’ slower traveling speed and passing collisions as a farm vehicle makes a left turn while a driver attempts a passing maneuver.
Tips for staying safe around farm machinery include the following:
• Be aware of signage indicating farm machinery use the roadway in that area.
• Wait for a safe place to pass slow moving farm machinery, be aware they typically enter and exit roadway in the same general area.
• Be aware of the farm machineries potential for extended length and width.
• Maintain a safe following distance as debris such as agricultural products could fall from the vehicle.