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Police urge safe driving during harvest


The Illinois State Police (ISP) is reminding motorists and farmers about traffic safety as Illinois enters the fall harvest season.


Agriculture is one of the leading industries in Illinois and farmers across the state will be moving equipment along roadways during the harvest season, which typically begins in early September and can last into November.


As farmers are traveling between fields, ISP is reminding motorists and farmers alike to share the road to help reduce crashes involving tractors, implements, and other farm equipment. ISP encourages motorists to follow these safe driving tips during harvest season:


· Share the road and be patient. Allow extra travel time during harvest season.


· Don't pass until it's safe and legal to do so. It is illegal to pass at intersections and in no-passing zones. Improper passing can be deadly.


· Use extra caution around tractors and slow-moving vehicles. Farm equipment is easily recognized by the orange, slow moving vehicle triangle emblem on the back. Most are also equipped with flashing yellow lights to warn motorists.


· Adjust to a greater following distance to increase sight lines when following behind wide, slow moving vehicles.

ISP also encourages farmers to do their part by following these safe driving tips:


· Take time to wipe off reflectors, flashing lights, and any other warning devices on equipment before entering the roadway. Equipment covered with dust/mud/debris from the field and can make warning devices difficult to see.


· Understand motorist sight lines are reduced around large pieces of equipment and look for opportunities to move as far right as possible.


· Pay attention for traffic backing up while traveling between fields and look for opportunities to ease them. When possible, move off of the roadway to allow extensive back-ups time to clear.


· When possible, reduce width of combines by removing the harvesting heads.


· Remember, farm machinery cannot be driven or towed on controlled access highways.


To learn more about controlled access highway restrictions, click this link.

By sharing the road and making safety a priority, motorists and farmers can work together to ensure a safe fall harvest.


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