LEWIS CO., N.Y. — Sunny days, flowers emerging, birds chirping, wild critters coming out of hibernation and warmer weather are not the only signs of spring for residents of Lewis County. Slow Moving Vehicles (SMVs) like tractors, horse drawn wagons and other agricultural equipment will be hitting the roads in preparation for the spring planting season. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County is reminding you to be aware of the Slow Moving Vehicles signs on farm machinery, and horse drawn buggies as the spring begins.
Every year, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County hosts tractor safety classes for 4-H youth to make sure that they know the latest safety techniques and driving skills. Joe Bush, our long time dedicated tractor safety educator has taught these classes several for years following his late father’s footsteps and is now receiving help from his son Amos. Joe enjoys every minute of it and is always excited to continue to educate the youth. Learn more about safety events like this at http://ccelewis.org.
Sgt. Bernard Kennnett from the State Police stated that Article 9, Section 375, Subdivision 36 states; “Farm machinery and implements of husbandry designed to operate at 25 mph or less, traveling on a public highway during day or night, whether self-propelled or used in combination, shall each separately display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem as specified by law. The intent of the SMV signs is to make drivers aware and cautious of the slow moving vehicle ahead when being approached and to slow down immediately”. This sign is denoted by an orange triangle with red wings. This symbol is only pertinent for vehicles in motion. Some horse-drawn buggies may have a lantern and reflective tape that can also be acceptable to local authorities.
It is against the law for property owners displaying SMV (slow moving vehicle) signs on fixed objects as seen on mailboxes and posts around Lewis County. Spring is also a great time to pick up reflective tape to replace a misused Slow Moving Vehicle sign.
Gov. Cuomo recently signed legislation to raise the speed of slow moving vehicles from 25mph to 35mph. New legislation was needed because construction equipment and farm tractors are being designed to travel at speeds higher than 25 mph. Look out for these changes on the road in the summer. As you are enjoying the much needed warm weather, please be careful while driving the roads and be cautious of the slow moving vehicles. This will make our roadway safer and reduce vehicular accidents.
For more information on agricultural, child parenting and 4-H Clubs please visit www.ccelewis.org or come visit us at our new location at the Lewis County Educational Center at 7395 East Road in Lowville.
–Mellissa Spence; Agricultural Outreach Educator
CCE of Lewis County
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