Rural Road Safety

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This letter to the editor written by Skip HetrickĀ of West Hanover, Pennsylvania contains priceless advice for people driving on country roads in the Spring when tractors, farm trucks, wagons and large equipment are moving slowly on our roads. Slow moving vehicles are a type A driver’s nightmare, but when you are driving in regions dotted with farms it is your duty to slow down and respect their right to be on the road too!

The safety of your family is far more important, when driving behind slow-moving farm vehicles or equipment, than getting down the road a few minutes faster.

Watch for farm equipment to ensure rural road safety

The Dauphin County Farm Bureau is celebrating Rural Roads Safety Week April 17-23 by encouraging county residents to travel safely on the roads this spring. This time of year, farmers are busy working in the fields and driving tractors, farm trucks, wagons and large equipment on roads.

To the distracted or impatient motorist, vehicles such as these can pose a threat when safe driving practices are not employed. For example, if a car is moving 55 mph and comes upon a tractor moving 15 mph, it takes only five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between the car and tractor.

Remember not to rush when driving on roads where you might encounter large farm machinery; slow down immediately when you see the orange slow-moving vehicle triangle and pass farm equipment only when it is safe for you to do so. Even if you have to slow down to 20 mph and follow a tractor for two miles, it takes only six minutes of your time, which is roughly equivalent to waiting for two red lights.

On behalf of the Dauphin County Farm Bureau, I encourage all residents to be aware of farm equipment during their travels on rural roads. By working together, we can make the trip safe for motorists and farmers.
CHARLES H. “SKIP” HETRICK JR.
Vice President, Dauphin County Farm Bureau
West Hanover

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