MARION, Ill. — The 12th annual Williamson County Traffic Safety Days will be shared virtually with high school students in 2021. The normally in-person event, where high school students across 15 southern Illinois counties gather to learn about roadway safety and farm equipment, is now available online to assist new drivers in learning about the importance of safely sharing the roadway.
“As planting season is underway and the chances of encountering planters and tractors on rural roadways increase, we encourage southern Illinois student drivers to watch our under 10-minute video to learn important tips that help keep both our students and our farmers safe on the roadway,” said Lance Martin, manager, Williamson County Farm Bureau.
Both large and small pieces of farm equipment move extremely slowly down the road. Equipment can be identified by both flashing amber lights and SMV (slow moving vehicle) signage. Motorists should immediately reduce speed once they see the SMV sign and flashing lights.
Motorists must exercise extreme caution when passing farm machinery. Do not pass on a hill, curve, near a field entrance or intersection, or if you feel unsafe. It is best to always assume there’s a car coming over the hill or around the curve. Do not pass when the center lane is marked by two solid yellow lines. Farm equipment does not only turn at intersections and drivers must be aware the farmer could be turning left or right into a field entrance or farm.
“The farmer is not wanting to hold you up any longer; they’re just trying to get to the next field and get off the road as quickly as possible,” said Martin. “If you do feel safe and the opportunity exists to pass, slowly pull out, make sure everything is visible and there’s no oncoming traffic, then once you pass, slowly merge back into your lane.”
Students can access the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGNy1y2jDD8
While the Traffic Safety Days event aims to educate new drivers, all motorists stand to benefit from these safety reminders.
Williamson County Farm Bureau extends its thanks to the equipment dealers that provided the equipment shown in the video. Thank you to Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners for supplying the John Deere gator and to Little Tractor and Equipment for supplying the Kioti tractor.
— Illinois Farm Bureau
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