Indiana State Police
INDIANAPOLIS - With harvest season starting this week, motorists should expect to see slow-moving farm equipment from Indiana’s 58,000+ farms on Hoosier roadways. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), and Indiana State Police (ISP) are teaming up to bring attention to the need for more safety on Indiana’s rural roads.
“While motorists cruise the beautiful rural roadways of Indiana this fall, they should be aware of slow-moving farm equipment using those roads during harvest season,” Lt. Governor Ellspermann said. “It is incredibly important to get this message out to ask all drivers to have patience and drive safely around slow-moving vehicles. I encourage all Hoosiers to be mindful and alert for farm equipment on roadways this harvest season.”
The following tips will help ensure the safety of motorists, passengers, and operators of slow-moving equipment:
“With slow-moving vehicles during harvest, patience and allowing extra time for travel is crucial,” said Dr. Michael Olinger, state emergency medical services director with IDHS. “Also, it’s critically important to avoid any distractions, such as smart phones. Distracted driving is the biggest cause of vehicular injuries.”
Indiana State Police Supt. Doug Carter said, “To get from the farm field to the dinner table takes cooperation of drivers of both regular vehicles and farm vehicles safely sharing the road as crops are harvested and transported to market.” Supt. Carter continued, “A distraction or lapse in judgment for either driver can have catastrophic consequences, which is why we ask all to be attentive to the full time task of safely driving, be it in a car, truck or a piece of farm equipment.”
“This harvest season drivers should watch for both farm equipment and vehicles waiting to pass to prevent crashes where traffic slows or stops suddenly,” said INDOT Commissioner Brandye Hendrickson. “Drivers also should anticipate large vehicles as they navigate hills and curves on country roads.”
By law, farm equipment must have the 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 mph.
For more information about agriculture safety in Indiana, visit:www.getprepared.in.gov
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) was established as a separate state agency by the Legislature in 2005. The Director of ISDA is appointed by the Governor and is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet. Administratively, ISDA reports to Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture. Major responsibilities include advocacy for Indiana agriculture at the local, state and federal level, managing soil conservation programs, promoting economic development and agricultural innovation, serving as a regulatory ombudsman for agricultural businesses, and licensing grain firms throughout the state.