Be Aware of Farmers
Sheriff Bukowski reminds drivers to be alert for farm equipment on roadways
Kankakee, IL – Kankakee County Sheriff Tim Bukowski issued a press release today reminding drivers to be alert for slow moving farm equipment on county roadways. “We anticipate farmers to start working in the fields soon in many areas of the county,” said Bukowski. Bukowski cautioned drivers to be prepared for farm tractors, anhydrous tank trailers and trucks and other farm equipment that will be using area roads during this planting season.
“Drivers should anticipate the presence of farm equipment and should adjust their speed accordingly. A vehicle moving at 55 miles per hour can overtake farm equipment traveling at 10 to 15 miles per hour very quickly,” cautioned Bukowski. The sheriff indicated that several tragedies involving farm equipment have occurred on county roadways in the past.
“Drivers can easily miscalculate the distance required to slow or stop when approaching farm equipment,” said Bukowski. It only takes 5 seconds for a motorist driving 55 mph to close a gap the length of a football field when approaching a tractor. Driver perception is further hampered by dust and at sunset. Drivers should:
1) slow down as soon as they see farm equipment on or approaching the roadway;
2) be cautious when approaching hills, curves or other areas where visibility may be reduced;
3) anticipate unexpected stopping or turning because farm equipment may not be equipped with brake lights or turn signals; and
4) reduce their speed at dusk.
Drivers should not anticipate that operators of farm equipment will pull off the roadway as they approach. Combines and other large equipment must allow for mailboxes, bridges, roadway signs, and other obstacles.
Bukowski additionally encouraged farm equipment operators to check their equipment to insure that slow moving vehicle emblems are properly positioned and that all equipment lighting is operational. The sheriff cautioned farmers that most farm equipment related accidents occur during hours immediately preceding dusk and at dusk. Bukowski is asking that farmers adjust the time when farm equipment is moved and encouraged farmers to have a second vehicle “tail” slow moving equipment whenever possible.
Sheriff Bukowski reminds area drivers that agriculture is still a major factor in the areas economy. Operators of farm equipment are entitled to use area roadways by law and other drivers must be prepared to accommodate that usage. Bukowski advised motorists that radar units will again be deployed on township and county roads during the planting season in an effort to protect the agricultural community.