Harvest has begun for many farmers across the state despite challenges this spring to get the crop in the ground. During this time of year, Indiana drivers are encouraged to be patient with farm equipment and share the road with farmers.
“As you’re making your plans this fall, factor in a little extra time for your travels ad slow down, especially when driving through rural parts of Indiana,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. “We need everyone working together to ensure a safe 2019 harvest season.”
In a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seven fatal crashes involving farm vehicles happened in Indiana. A total of 73 happened across the country.
“Most years, farmers are hoping to have their crops harvested by Thanksgiving, but this has been an unprecedented year,” said Bruce Ketler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. “Depending on the weather, we could see some working in their fields mid-to late December.”
Farm equipment must have the nationally designated slow-moving vehicle sign on the back of the equipment to warn oncoming drivers.
If drivers attempt to pass farm equipment, check for oncoming traffic and make sure the vehicle in front of you is pulling over and not making a left turn.
“When you see farmers out working and moving from field to field, please be patient as they work to harvest their crops which are needed to help feed our communities and the world,” said Doug Carter, Indiana State Police Superintendent. “Let’s all work together to help ensure everyone’s safety on our roadways.”
The following organizations will be working together to share these important safety tips during harvest season: Hoosier Ag Today, Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana State Police.