Motorists Reminded: Be Careful as Harvest Picks Up

Motorists Reminded: Be Careful as Harvest Picks Up

It is harvest time, and motorists are being reminded to watch out for slow farm equipment on the roads.  Illinois State Trooper Tracy Lillard says motorists need to be patient…

{‘’A lot of these country roads have no shoulder, or just a little bit of a gravel shoulder. A lot of these are gravel roads as well,’’ said Trooper Lillard. ‘’But motorists get very impatient — and speed, in particular. They get impatient because they leave late to go to work, they leave late to get to school, to their appointment. And now they’re stalled by a tractor – or a semi.’’}

And Lillard — whose father is a farmer — says crashes involving farm equipment can be avoided…

[Farm equipment moves down a rural road near Oakwood, Illinois on Thursday, October 10, 2019. You can click on the photos to enlarge them.]
{‘’I’ve been to a lot of crashes over my 18 years, and one thing if I could plead anything with motorists – it’s just to give those farmers some room.  Understand that they take a little bit longer. Obviously that’s why they have ‘slow moving vehicle’ emblem signs.  They can’t travel very fast.  Just give them room and adjust your speed accordingly,’’ said Lillard.}

Trooper Lillard (who is better known as Trooper Tracy on Facebook) notes farm equipment often turns where the motoring public might not be expecting them to turn…

{‘’I don’t think a lot of people understand what a field entrance is. And I say that word all the time, because I just want people to – next time they’re on the road, to look at that and understand what that field entrance is,’’ added Trooper Lillard.  ‘’It’s not the next intersection that’s coming up that’s marked – where the light pole is, or the traffic sign, or the stop sign. It’s a culvert that you cross a ditch tile and you go into the field.  And, like I said, when people get impatient and they start to pass – that farmer might be turning wide.  Wide turns are huge in the farming culture.  And if people don’t understand what that is – or what they’re doing – then it can be extremely dangerous.’’}

Tom Fricke, Public Information Spokesman for the Vermilion County Farm Bureau, says motorists need to take their foot off the accelerator and slow down when they approach farm equipment from the rear.  And Fricke adds, ‘’if people are patient, everyone will get to their destination safely.’’

[Farmers prepare for harvest activities near Oakwood on Thursday, October 10, 2019.]