Maryland DOT teams with Dept. of Agriculture on driver/farmer road sharing safety

This multi-agency initiative is aimed at harvest-season safety increases

October 02, 2018
Maryland DOT teams with Dept. of Agriculture on driver/farmer road sharing safety
Maryland DOT teams with Dept. of Agriculture on driver/farmer road sharing safety

One aspect of rural driving that perhaps of oft-ignored, or at best misunderstood, is the degree to which regular traffic must accommodate not just heavy truck and freight traffic, but farm vehicles as well. This fact is not lost, however, on the Maryland DOT, which has joined the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Farm Bureau in a news release discussing driver safety as motorists traveling Maryland highways and rural roads are sharing the road with farm equipment from one of Maryland’s 12,300 farms.

“Farmers are legally allowed to operate farm equipment on public roadways and there are times when farm vehicles must operate on highways to move between farm and field,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder in the statement. “I encourage all motorists to be patient when traveling on roads near Maryland farms and drive with caution to ensure the safety of motorists and farmers.”

According to published sources, the fall season in particular is a time for increased attention and awareness, as the harvest is coming in, and farm vehicles, as well as boosted freight for harvested crops, are on the road more than ever.

“When traveling this fall along rural routes including major U.S. routes and Maryland arterials, expect to encounter farm equipment on the road as well,” Gregory Slater, administrator of the State Highway Administration, said. “We will place portable electronic signs along major farming routes to remind drivers that the harvest season is here, and that they should approach and pass farm equipment carefully.”

"Maryland farmers are taking every safety precaution available to protect motorists and themselves while traveling in equipment on the roads, including slow-moving vehicle signs, flashing lights and raising all equipment attachments,” said Maryland Farm Bureau President Chuck Fry. “Please help protect the men and women who work hard every day to produce your food, fuel and fiber, especially during this harvest season when there are more combines and farm trucks on the roads."

The Farm Bureau has selected strategic locations to position electronic message signs along Maryland roads, such as U.S. Rte. 301.

Amongst the information the agencies are attempting to push out to the public is the correct method for merging with farm traffic, and what the right-of-way standards are.

Related Articles

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the application process is now open for communities to apply for $1 billion in Fiscal Year…
May 17, 2022
Maryland Governor signs new transportation bills into law
Photo 135607521 © Zzz1b |
Governor Larry Hogan, along with Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson, signed 140 bills into law Monday. Included…
May 17, 2022
Wisconsin officials warn wrong-way crashes on the rise
Photo 19938285 © Virynja |
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report showing there were an average of 500 fatal wrong-way crashes per year across the United…
May 13, 2022
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is emphasizing the need for safe driving in work zones. Nine people have died in work zone…
May 05, 2022