CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — Longer days, birds, and warmer weather are not the only signs of spring for residents of Ontario County. Slow Moving Vehicles (SMVs) like tractors and other agricultural equipment will be hitting the roads in preparation for the spring planting season. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County is reminding you to exercise caution with Slow Moving Vehicles as the spring begins.
Every year, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County hosts tractor safety classes with young adults and adults to make sure that they know the latest safety techniques. Amy Morrisey, 4-H educator and tractor safety educator, explains, “Our young adult class is always full and it is always enjoyable to have parents attend as well. They get updated on the safety as well.” Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County hosted their adult-focused tractor safety class on April 27 that was open to the public. Learn more about safety events like this at http://cceontario.org.
Vehicles that often move slower than 25 miles per hour – like most farm vehicles, animal-drawn vehicles, and construction equipment – are required to affix a Slow Moving Vehicle sign to the back of their vehicle. 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.
If you have spotted these signs on mail boxes or other stationary objects, they are being used incorrectly and can add to confusion on the roadways. Spring is also a great time to pick up reflective tape to replace a misused Slow Moving Vehicle sign.
Rural roads are affected disproportionately by crashes. In 2016, rural roads are:
- 30% of the total vehicle miles traveled (Federal Highway Administration);
- 48% of the fatal traffic crashes (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration); and,
- 50% of the traffic fatalities (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
Urban areas have 48% of the fatal traffic crashes and 47% of the traffic fatalities1.
The statistics on crashes involving Slow Moving Vehicles are not available, however, learning safe ways to share the road can increase your own personal safety that of any drivers of Slow Moving Vehicles.
Later this year, you will also begin to see some slow moving vehicles that drive in speeds from twenty-six to fifty miles to have an additional speed placard attached to the rear of their vehicle. This is due to a new law passed in New York State allowing for additional signage. Look out for these changes on the road in the summer.
For more than 100 years, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County is a proven investment in providing research-based education, personalized programming that addresses current and emerging needs, and engages residents in enhancing the quality of life for all in Ontario County. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County is located on North Main Street in Canandaigua and home to 4-H Camp Bristol Hills. Please visit cceontario.org for more information on agricultural, 4-H Clubs and 4-H Camp Bristol Hills, and other programming open to the public.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.
1 Road safety statistic details: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, “Traffic Safety Facts: Rural/Urban Comparison of Traffic Fatalities,” April 2018. DOT HS 812 521
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Ontario County
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