Officials tell motorists to use caution around farm equipment

By Nick Kovatch on October 8 at 9:04am

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Authorities are asking motorists in West Central Illinois to be patient when coming across slow-moving farm equipment this harvest season.

Randy Duvendack is Morgan County Sheriff.

“There’s a lot of big vehicles on the road right now, including farm implements, combines, tractors, grain wagons and semi trucks,” says Duvendack. “So, everybody needs to be very aware of these vehicles.”

The usual safety tips apply: allow plenty of room between your vehicle and the one you’re following; pass only when legal and safe; and do not assume the driver of the tractor or combine ahead of you can see you.

“A lot of those roads aren’t marked,” says Duvendack. “There’s no center line and, of course, a lot of these roads are in the country, so there’s a lot of grades. A lot of times you can’t see real well. Sometimes you get in a hurry when you’re late for work or late to pick up your kid, but it’s not worth it to drive recklessly and pass where you shouldn’t. We’ve had too many tragedies this year already.”

Duvendack says it’s important for drivers of farm implements to make sure machinery is properly lit and reflected if traveling at night.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says collisions between cars and farm vehicles from 2009 to 2011 totaled more than 700, with 19 deaths and 283 injuries.