Farmers urge drivers to use caution during harvest season
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - On the commute to work or other places of business, you may have come up on a piece of farm equipment traveling down a busy roadway, which could cause a slight delay.
Through harvest season, farm equipment on roadways across Northeast Arkansas is standard.
“A lot of times, were able to use these back roads, and we try to do that the best we can. A lot of times, we’ve got to get our equipment out on the main roads on 63, 67, and 412. All these surrounding highways,” Lawrence County Farmer Cole Hicks explained.
Farmers must use area roads to access fields to harvest crops and ask drivers to use caution.
“I don’t blame people for being a little upset. When they have to get somewhere, I know that everyone is busy, and we want to respect that and try to get out of the way of everybody, but we also need everyone to understand that we’re just trying to do our job,” Hicks said.
Arkansas and Missouri saw their fair share of crashes last year involving farm equipment.
“We saw last year 177 traffic crashes, which unfortunately resulted in seven fatalities and around 63 people being injured in those crashes, and this year we’re looking to avoid that,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop G Sergeant Eddie Young said.
Farmers say they understand the frustration of getting stuck behind a piece of their equipment, but at the end of the day, it’s necessary to use the area roads.
“We’ve got to do our jobs. That’s just part of it. Unfortunately, I apologize for all of us having to be out in the roadways with our equipment, but we’ve got to get to each field, and we’ve got to move around just like anyone else,” Hicks explained.
Drivers in both states are urged to use extreme caution when approaching the equipment.
“The main thing is to slow down and be patient when you’re coming up on farm equipment. Expect it to be out on the roadway. Keep attention when they’re turning on or exiting the road,” Sgt. Young added.
When passing a piece of farm equipment, make sure it’s safe to do so.
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