Farming plays a vital role in Missouri’s economy, history, and identity. With the arrival of fall comes harvest time. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds drivers to expect heavier farm machinery traffic--especially on rural highways. Farmers and motorists are encouraged to share the road in a safe, courteous manner. Please obey all traffic laws and remain vigilant.
There were a total of 209 Missouri traffic
crashes involving farm equipment in 2015. In those crashes six people
were killed and 165 were injured.
The following are reminders for safe travel during this busy time of year:
* Stay alert for slow moving farm equipment.
* When you come up behind a tractor or other
farm machinery, please slow down and be patient. Wait to pass until you
have a clear view of the road ahead and there is no oncoming traffic.
Never pass on a hill or curve.
* Collisions commonly occur when a motorist
tries to pass a left-turning farm vehicle. A tractor that appears to be
pulling to the right side of the road to let motorists pass, instead may
be preparing to make a wide left turn. Watch the farmer’s hand and
light signals closely.
* Pay close attention to farm equipment entering and leaving the highway from side roads and driveways.
* Special attention must be paid when traveling at dawn or dusk when the sun makes it difficult for drivers to see.
* Make sure any farm equipment being driven
on Missouri roadways is properly marked with lights and a “slow-moving
* Drive as far to the right as possible.
* If traffic accumulates behind you on a
road where it is difficult to make a safe pass, you should pull off onto
the side of the road in a level area, so the vehicles can pass.
* If possible, never travel on roadways at dawn or dusk when it is more difficult for drivers of other vehicles to see.
* Like other motor vehicles, most modern
farm tractors have seat belts. Always use a seat belt when operating a
tractor equipped with a roll-over protection structure.
* Often, all-terrain vehicles are used for
agricultural purposes. ATVs being used for farming can only travel on
highways during daylight hours and must be equipped with lights, a
bicycle flag, and "slow-moving vehicle" emblem. The law requires anyone
under the age of 18 to wear a safety helmet when operating an ATV; the
Patrol, however, recommends all operators to wear a safety helmet
regardless of age.
Farmers are encouraged to review the
regulations that pertain to farm vehicles and the transportation of
goods. These regulations include, but are not limited to:
**If crossing state lines, farm vehicle drivers should be aware of the regulations for the jurisdictions in which they operate.
**Farm vehicles operated only within
Missouri must display the farm name and its location if the vehicle
bears a "local" license plate with the “F” tab.
**The driver of a farm vehicle must be at
least 18 years of age if operating with Missouri; 21 years of age if
crossing the state line.
**Those driving farm vehicles should
familiarize themselves with the regulations regarding DOT physicals and
commercial driver licenses when applicable.
**Permits must be obtained from MoDOT if you
are traveling on an interstate and your vehicle or load is over the
normal size and weight requirements.
** Any vehicle or combination of vehicles
hauling grain or grain co-products during times of harvest may be as
much as, but not exceeding, 10 percent over the maximum weight
limitation allowable while operating on highways other than the
interstate highway system. The provisions of Section 304.180 RSMo. shall
not apply to vehicles operated and operating on the interstate.
The only 100 percent survivable traffic
crash is the one that never happens. Make sure everyone in the vehicle
is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Every day as
we travel on Missouri’s roadways, we trust that every driver on the road
is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober. “Don’t Violate The Trust.”