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Share the road with farm vehicles

DURHAM: The Regional Municipality of Durham would like to remind residents that harvest season is underway and may continue into December. Drivers may experience temporary delays on rural roads due to slow-moving farm machinery. Motorists are reminded to be patient and cautious when sharing the road with these vehicles.

Farmers have the important task of transporting the food that feeds our communities. As part of that transportation, they often use public roads to get from field to field, both day and night. It’s important for motorists to be patient and cautious around farm vehicles to ensure safety for everyone. Durham Region farmers provide us with a safe, reliable and nutritious food supply.

Safety tips to observe when coming across farm machinery on Regional roads include:

Watch for farm machinery and recognize slow-moving vehicles on the road. Farm machinery can appear in a variety of shapes and sizes. Follow these tips for everyone’s safety. Look for an orange triangle emblem on the back of any vehicle you do not recognize. This emblem means it’s a slow-moving vehicle. Use caution. Most farm equipment travels under 40 kilometres per hour. Slow your vehicle as soon as you see farm equipment on the road, and be prepared to stop at all times. Farm vehicles don’t always have brake lights or turn signals. Operators may not always be visible to demonstrate standard hand signals to show their intentions.

Be patient and wait for a safe opportunity to pass. When approaching a farm vehicle, consider the following. Farm vehicles with long or wide equipment must sometimes swing wide to make turns. For example, if a tractor swings to the right, do not attempt to pass. It may still be turning left. Farmers may be unable to pull off the road due to equipment weight or road shoulder conditions. Some farm equipment takes up more than one travel lane. Machinery that is half on the road and half on the shoulder may suddenly move completely onto the road to avoid mailboxes or other obstructions on the shoulder. Often, there are protrusions from the tractor, which can be difficult to see. Do not pass and then slow down or stop directly in front of the farm vehicle. Remember that large equipment cannot brake as quickly as a car. Give farmers a wide berth when passing. Do not pass equipment at intersections. Equipment may turn without the ability to signal or see traffic behind the equipment.

The Regional Municipality of Durham would like to thank motorists for their co-operation in making our roads safer for all users. Please be courteous when encountering farm equipment, just as you would with any other vehicle on the road. Common sense will ensure safe travel on our road system.

Durham Vision Zero is our long-term plan to ensure a safe transportation system that envisions a future that sees no serious injuries or lives lost on Durham’s roadways. Learn more at durham.ca/VisionZero.

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