The Gleaner
Agriculture

A reminder to drivers and farmers to share the roads

Sharing the road with fellow drivers is important, regardless of the type of vehicle being driven. In the region, this task becomes more complicated as large tractors and heavy equipment are a common sight on our roads. It requires careful attention from those in cars meeting machinery, as well as vigilance from farmers who have no choice but to use public roads to move from one field to another with imposing equipment.

With authorization to drive on public roads, farmers who drive agricultural equipment maneuver with caution. They follow many regulations, such as not driving on the shoulder, complying with daytime and nighttime visibility standards, keeping to the 40 km/h maximum speed limit, and avoiding cargo spills. As much as possible, farmers will plan their movements outside of peak traffic hours.

The Highway Safety Code allows drivers to cross a single- or double-solid line to pass farm machinery, but only if the passing maneuver is without danger. To do this safely, a driver must check that the lane they use to pass is free for a long-enough distance, and that the tractor driver is not preparing to turn into a field. Drivers should also maintain a safe distance from the farm vehicle before and after passing, and slow down.

“People should be aware of the lights on the tractors, and approach slowly,” says Mario Henderson, farmer at Agrobiosol in Saint-Chrysostome. “[Our] visibility is low, so there is a lot of responsibility on the farmers, but it’s [made difficult] when people don’t slow down.”

The presence of farm machinery on the roads is higher at certain times of the year, especially in the spring during planting season and in the fall during harvest season. Patience, prudence, and mutual respect are important for everyone’s safety. (RP)

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