LOWVILLE — Sunny days, flowers emerging, birds chirping, wild critters coming out of hibernation and warmer weather are not the only signs of spring for area residents.
Slow Moving Vehicles (SMVs) like tractors, horse drawn wagons and other agricultural equipment will be hitting the roads in preparation for the spring planting season, and drivers are urged to remember to exercise caution, particularly in rural areas.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County is once again hosting tractor safety classes for 4-H youth to make sure that they know the latest safety techniques and driving skills. Joe Bush, the agency’s longtime tractor safety educator has taught these classes several for years following his late father’s footsteps and is now receiving help from his son Amos.
People can learn more about safety programs like the tractor event at http://ccelewis.org.
Sgt. Bernard Kennett of the State Police adds that people should take heed of the orange triangle on the back of farm equipment.
“Farm machinery and implements of husbandry designed to operate at 25 mph or less, traveling on a public highway during day or night, whether self-propelled or used in combination, shall each separately display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem as specified by law. The intent of the SMV signs is to make drivers aware and cautious of the slow moving vehicle ahead when being approached and to slow down immediately,” Kennett said. “This sign is denoted by an orange triangle with red wings. This symbol is only pertinent for vehicles in motion. Some horse-drawn buggies may have a lantern and reflective tape that can also be acceptable to local authorities.”
The state recently enacted legislation to raise the speed of slow moving vehicles from 25 mph to 35 mph to accommodate construction equipment and farm tractors that are now designed to travel at faster speeds.
People should “look out for these changes on the road in the summer,” Cooperative Extension said, adding that “as you are enjoying the much needed warm weather, please be careful while driving the roads and be cautious of the slow moving vehicles. This will make our roadway safer and reduce vehicular accidents.”
For more information on agricultural, child parenting and 4-H Clubs, visit www.ccelewis.org or come visit them at the new location at the Lewis County Educational Center at 7395 East Road in Lowville.