(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT, and state lawmakers joined Erie County Farm Bureau on April 22 to discuss rural road safety for drivers as farming season kicks off.
“It’s been a long winter, it’s been snowy. It’s springtime now and we’re just trying to make people aware that there is going to be farm equipment back out on the roads,” said Mark Troyer, Owner of Troyer Farms.
Trooper Andrew Hacke, Community Services Officer at Pennsylvania State Police Troop E, shared a tip that will help drivers know when to reduce their speed.
“If you see the orange triangle on this vehicle, it’s a slow moving vehicle placard. It is meant to be on all vehicles that are going 25 mph or less that are on the roadways. If you are traveling on the roadway and you see a tractor or you see that placard on the roadway, be aware to start slowing down every in advance,” said Trooper Andrew Hacke, Community Services Officer at Troop E Erie.
Troyer shared how drivers can be helpful to farmers that are working.
“We ask you to just kind of slow down and give us a little bit of space. We’ll try to stay off the road as much as we can off the edge. When you see a good opportunity to pass, absolutely do that safely. We’re not trying to hold you up,” Troyer said.
Trooper Hacke shared what drivers should and should not do when they encounter farming equipment on the roads.
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“You want to make sure that if you’re going to pass, you are in a passing area. You want to make sure you’re not doing it at the crest of a hill or a curve of a bend. You want to be sure you have a clear line of sight to be able to do so safely,” Trooper Hacke said.
Farmers ask that drivers are patient with them on the roads as the season progresses.