Local News

Highway Patrol, Ag Officials Hope To Make Tractors Safer On Roads

Posted June 14, 2004 5:01 a.m. EDT

— The state Highway Patrol and Cooperative Extension Service in seven eastern counties are trying to help farmers stay safer on the road. They are learning safer driving practices and improving their visibility.

"They [drivers] see the vehicles and a lot of times, they don't have enough time to react and get stopped before meeting these vehicles," said Sgt. C.E. Thomas, of the state Highway Patrol.

"More and more reflective tape is being put on the outside edges of [the] very wide implements," said Charlie Tyson, of the Nash County Cooperative Extension.

Road signs and mailboxes often force Wade Glover into the middle of the road. He pulls over to let cars pass when he can. He said he is safety conscious, and he just wishes others were as well.

"I'm not trying to hold up anybody, but sometimes they don't realize the obstacles I have in front of me," Glover said. "I would hope that they would just be a little bit patient, be a little bit more observant."

Many farmers now mount strobe lights on top of their tractors. Tyson said farmers are most at risk when making a left turn.

State law prohibits anyone younger than 15 years old from operating a farm vehicle. Tractors can only be on roads while performing farm duties, not for transportation.