Harvest season is underway right across Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) West Region-patrolled communities. The OPP want to remind drivers that patience is essential to everyone’s safety as farmers and farm equipment become a common sight on rural roads across Ontario this fall.
Here’s a short list of tips to help drivers contend with slow-moving vehicles in the weeks and months ahead.
- Be Alert and watch out for slow-moving vehicle signs. The orange triangular sign indicates the vehicle is moving at a slow speed (less than 40 km/h).
- Be Prepared to Share Your Lane – Remember some farm vehicles are very wide and may take up more than one lane. Some vehicles also have protruding equipment that can be hard to see. Give that farm vehicle space as some vehicles may not be able to pull off the road due to equipment weight or shoulder issues.
- Watch Out for Left Turns – Not all farm vehicles have turn signals, watch for farmers signalling a turn using the same hand signals as a cyclist. Be aware that farmers with long or wide farming equipment sometimes need to make a wide turn. If a tractor swings to the right, be careful, it may be starting a left turn.
- Only Pass If It’s Safe to do so – Wait for a safe passing zone, watch out for oncoming traffic and never take a chance by making a blind pass on a curve or a hill. The farmer may be unable to pull off the road due to equipment weight or shoulder issues. Wait for a safe opportunity to pass.
- When finished passing, don’t stop or slow down in front of the farm vehicle. Large equipment can’t brake as quickly as a car.
Sharing the road with farm vehicles is a necessity if you travel in rural Ontario. Please be courteous, be patient and be cautious. Remember, aggressive driving isn’t just unsafe, it’s against the law. Aggressive drivers should be reported to police.