Blakely, AL - Agriculture and highway safety leaders are joining forces to make Georgia’s roads safer during the harvest season.
Last year, there were about 300 crashes involving passenger vehicles and farm equipment. Some resulted in fatalities, and many more ended with injuries.
“What happens so often is cars driving along at 50, 60, and 70 miles an hour along a country road comes over a hill and around a curve and they come up on a tractor going 15-20 miles per hour and there’s no time to stop,” says the director of the Governor’s office of Highway Safety, Harris Blackwood.
Leaders just launched a new awareness campaign, Improving Georgia’s Yield Behind the Wheel. They’re urging motorists to slow down and use caution.
“We’re hoping to reach out to Georgians and encourage safety during this harvest season because if we can impact one family, that’s our most precious commodity, we produce in Georgia,” says Georgia’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Gary W. Black.
Leaders say that it’s not just motorists that need to take precautions; farmers will have to do their part as well.
“We want to caution to all of our farmers that their vehicles have the slow moving vehicle triangular sign that is required by law, and that it’s up to date and people can see it. And don’t drive at awkward times like twilight or just before sunrise,” says Blackwood.
Motorists, what may seem like a huge inconvenience may actually not be that big.
Here’s some simple math: If you have to slow down to 20 miles per hour for 2 miles, it only takes 6 minutes of your time.
“Be patient, and let these slow large machines move to where they’re going to be real careful and obvious to what’s happening around them,” says President of the Georgia Farm Bureau, Zippy Duvall.
“Everybody has responsibility in this. We want farmers to use their greatest safety techniques, but we want motorists to also be aware. Slow down and enjoy the road,” adds Blackwood.
For more information: www.gahighwaysafety.org or www.agr.georgia.gov