Sheriff: Motorists should exercise caution during harvest season

Harvest season is underway, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind motorists of the importance of sharing the road safely with agricultural equipment.

The next few months mark a critical period for local farmers as they work to bring in their crops. Their equipment can be very large and move slowly on county roads and highways.

Key safety messages

  1. Keep an eye out: Operators of farm machinery cannot always see motorists. That means drivers need to pay close attention, especially when driving by fields being harvested because equipment could unexpectedly enter the road from a field.
  2. Slow down: Most farm equipment travels well below the speed limit, often 25 mph or less. Drivers should slow down and stay a safe distance behind any equipment. Remember, the heavier the equipment, the longer it will take the operator to slow down. They cannot react quickly.
  3. Stay a safe distance away: This creates greater visibility and will allow the operator to make wide turns. Be aware that farm machinery may appear to be turning in a different direction than they really are.
  4. Use caution when passing: We’re all busy and in a hurry to reach our destination. That makes passing farm equipment an attractive option. Use extreme caution when passing, ensuring the road is wide enough and that there is no oncoming traffic.
  5. Be aware of surroundings: Don’t become distracted by farm equipment and miss mailboxes, bridges or other obstacles when driving.

Supporting farmers

During harvest season, the hardworking farmers of our region play a crucial role in providing food for our tables.

By following these safety guidelines, motorists can help ensure farmers can complete their work safely and efficiently.

“Farmers are the backbone of our community, and we want to ensure their safety during this busy time of year,” Sheriff Rick Meyer said. “By being cautious and considerate on the roads, we can support our local agricultural community and help prevent accidents.”

Meyer encourages all motorists to take these safety recommendations seriously and share them with friends and family.

“Together, we can ensure a safe and successful harvest season for everyone,” he said.