The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) would like to urge motorists to use extra caution while traveling the state’s roadways this time of year as farmers are out working their fields and transporting their goods to market.
Farm equipment is very large and heavy making it extremely difficult for operators to accelerate, slow down and stop. This type of vehicle also has large blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see approaching vehicles. “Motorists should be extremely cautious as they drive and watch for slow moving equipment on our roadways,” says Karin Mongeon, NDDOT Safety Division Director. “When approaching farm equipment, motorists need to pay attention, slow down and pass with extreme caution especially on rural two-lane highways.”
In 2017, there were 46 crashes in North Dakota involving farm equipment. “With the recent launch of the Vision Zero safety initiative, motorists can do their part by taking extra precautions and always paying attention to the road in front of them to help prevent these types of crashes,” stresses Mongeon.
In this effort motorists are reminded to:
• Watch for mud and debris on the roadway as trucks go directly from the field onto the highway.
• Be aware that you can encounter farm equipment at any time of day.
• Drive with headlights on at all times.
• Always wear seatbelts.
In addition, farmers are reminded of the opportunity to get 10 percent extra weight permits that are valid on ND state highways and U.S. highways. These permits are valid for harvester products field to first point of storage or first point of storage to transfer of possession on current year’s harvest. Farmers should also be aware that road construction projects are finishing up this time of year as well. Some roads may be inaccessible to large farm equipment.
Farm equipment operators should consider the following precautions:
• Use lights and flashers to make equipment more visible.
• Use slow moving emblems on equipment traveling less than 30 mph.
• Consider using a follow vehicle when moving equipment, especially at night.
• Consider using an escort vehicle when moving large equipment, especially at night.
For the most current progress on construction projects call 511 or go to the Travel Information Map on the NDDOT website at www.dot. nd.gov.