The new bright yellow sign along the road reads “CAUTION, WATCH OUT FOR FARM EQUIPMENT ON THE ROAD.” Rural drivers in Benton and Tippecanoe counties will see those now that harvest is picking up. It’s an idea that started in southeast Indiana and is sponsored by county Farm Bureau organizations.
Tippecanoe County Farm Bureau president Roger Verhey tells HAT the signs serve a dual purpose.
“It’s not only to remind the motorists but also to remind us farmers out here that we don’t own the road with what we have, but it takes a lot more for us to get off the road and out of the way. That’s what we’re trying to get folks to understand.”
He added, “We’ve thought about doing something like this in the past but usually billboards are a little more expensive. So another county and Farm Bureau came up with this idea and in order to cut some costs we ordered several counties together and all the counties had the opportunity to participate.”
Verhey says about 40 to fifty signs will be showing up in his county, some of them strategically placed.
“We’re trying to target around major intersections and trying to get them on each side of schools where there is an influx from picking up kids and dropping kids off. We’d just like for everybody to be safe this season.”
And hopefully the bright yellow caution signs serve as reminders to slow down and be on the lookout for that heavy equipment.
A total of 18 farm-related fatalities were documented in Indiana during 2013, according to the 2013 Indiana Farm Fatality Summary. The total reflects a decline from the 2012 total of 26 and a substantial drop from the annual average. The lowest number ever documented was 8 in 2006.
The Farm Fatality Summary was compiled by the Purdue University Agricultural Safety and Health Program and released last week during National Farm Safety and Health Week. See the full summary here.