Share the road as farmers begin planting season

April Law of the Month: Farm vehicle safety

As farmers prepare for spring planting season, the Wisconsin State Patrol reminds drivers and farm vehicle operators to be safe, patient, and share the road.
Spring is a busy time of year for farmers, and drivers can expect to see more farm vehicles on the road. Safety on our roads requires everyone to do their part. There have been more than 2,000 crashes involving farm vehicles in Wisconsin in the past 5 years, including a preliminary report of 388 in 2023.
“Farmers are out working hard to feed our communities,” said Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent Tim Carnahan. “Their equipment is often slower, less agile, and much larger than a standard vehicle. It’s important that drivers and equipment operators keep an eye out for each other and understand their responsibility in safely sharing the road.”

Driver responsibilities

  • Scan the road ahead and be ready to slow down when you see slow-moving farm vehicles.
  • Provide extra room for farm vehicles and anticipate the possibility they may slow down ­or turn.
  • Be patient and cautious if you decide to pass. In Wisconsin, it is unlawful to pass an agricultural vehicle in a no passing zone.
  • When legally passing, consider the possibility of the farmer turning left onto a road, driveway, or field entrance.
    Farm vehicle operator responsibilities
  • Know the lighting and marking requirements for farm vehicles. These requirements draw attention to the unique size, shape, and speed of agriculture vehicles and alert other drivers that caution is required.
  • When traveling on a road, stay as far to the right as safely possible.
  • Be familiar with road weight restrictions. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection provides a statewide map with information about weight limits.
  • Review information about permits, exemptions, and weight limits on the WisDOT website.

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