VDOT reminds community to share the road with local farmers
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - When driving through the Shenandoah Valley, it’s common to get stuck behind slow-moving tractors or other farm equipment, but the Virginia Department of Transportation and local farmers are asking drivers to slow down and be patient.
“Any time you have any kind of differential in speed, such as a car that’s going 30/40 miles an hour versus a vehicle that’s going 15 miles an hour that can cause a problem,” Sandy Myers, with the VDOT Staunton District, said.
Bradley Dunsmore is a local farmer and board president of the Augusta County Farm Bureau. He said advocating for farm vehicle safety gets more important every year as the roads become busier and drivers become more impatient.
”I’ve had several instances where people will approach you at a higher rate of speed from behind and they go ahead, whether it’s a double line and a passing area or not, they’ll just go ahead and pass you,” Dunsmore said. “They don’t take the time to look at what’s coming ahead and I’ve had several close calls from that.”
Dunsmore said farmers do their best to share the road, but sometimes it’s hard.
Farm equipment is designed for the most efficient use in fields or other off-road uses, some machinery is wider than a standard lane.
“The farmers have to be respectful of the other people that are coming down the road,” he said. “Now there’s a lot of times, especially with bigger implements and stuff, it’s not always possible for the farmer to totally get out of the road and allow people to safely pass, and so those are times when people are going to have to be patient.”
His advice to drivers; Slow down, put down your cell phone and wait to safely pass our local farmers.
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