Dothan, AL (WTVY) - With this year's peanut harvest well underway, Wiregrass farmers and local law enforcement are encouraging drivers to respect tractors and machinery out on the roads.
Farm machinery has a legal right to use public roads just as any other car does. But distracted and impatient driving coupled with slow-moving farm equipment can increase the potential for dangerous and deadly accidents.
Most tractors and farm machinery move at their fastest between 20 and 30 mph.
Peanut pickers alone normally take up more than one lane, and because they are so heavy, it takes them much longer to stop.
The Dothan Police Department says the best way to deal with tractors on the road is to slow down and be patient.
"I know it's a hindrance to everybody that's got places to go and appointment times to make on time,” says Kris Balkcom, research associate at the Wiregrass Research and Extension Office. “But you know, hey, everybody's got stuff going on, so we just work together to try to be safe."
Law enforcement also says if you must pass a tractor, do so with extreme caution. But, be reminded, it is illegal to pass a tractor by going over solid yellow lines.