Watch out for farm equipment

WOODSTOCK – Farming season in the area has arrived.

The McHenry County Farm Bureau and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office remind everyone to watch out for farm equipment and other slow-moving vehicles. Fields are being planted and grass along the roadway is starting to grow. That means more tractors will be on or near the roadways.

Here are several reminders for travelers that will help keep those on slow-moving vehicles and motorists safe this spring:

• Motorists should slow down as soon as they see farm equipment and mowers.

• Watch for hand signals. Sometimes a tractor veering right does not mean the operator is pulling over for a motorist to pass. Anticipate them to make wide left turns when they move to the right side of the road near intersections and field entrances.

• Recognize the Slow Moving Vehicle emblem: a reflective red and orange triangle mounted near the center of the rear of every piece of equipment designed to travel at low speeds. This is a sign educating motorists to immediately slow down.

• Do not speed past farm machinery.

• Pass only in safe, designated passing zones. Motorists should never assume the farmer knows they are behind the machinery or that they want to pass.

Remember, if motorists can’t see the tractor’s mirrors, the farmer can’t see the motorist. After passing, motorists should leave plenty of space between them and machinery before they move back to the right lane.

For information, call the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office at 815-338-2144.