Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
Summer traffic includes motorists and farmers

Suggested lead

It's not just road construction crews that Oregon motorists need to be aware of this summer. Slow moving farm machinery, including trucks, tractors, and combines, may also be on the roadway:

Entire audio file

Audio 01
Whether the sharing of traffic lanes takes place in the more congested Willamette Valley or the wide open spaces of rural Oregon, Director Katy Coba of the Oregon Department of Agriculture has the same advice:

COBA: "Oregon motorists hear a lot about, in the summertime and safe driving, a lot more drivers on the road, often that's the time you have road construction. So they are constantly hearing the message, slow down. This is the exact same message. If you see farm equipment on the road, we just need you to slow down." :17

audio file                                                          

Audio 02
It is legal for farmers to drive equipment on public roads. Farmers normally try to avoid using the higher traveled roads as much as possible, but sometimes that just can't happen. Coba has advice for farmers as well:

COBA: "Extra caution, look around you before you are turning right or left, realize there are going to be some motorists that are going to be irritated and in places where you can pull over and go by, let them do that." :12

audio file

Last year, there were 33 vehicle accidents involving farm equipment and 31 the year before. Unfortunately, the accident numbers are trending up. But with common sense and caution, this summer can be travel-safe for Oregonians on and off the farm. In Salem, I'm Bruce Pokarney.

Additional audio: Audio 03
COBA urges motorists to go slow and be patient when they have to share the road with a tractor or other farm equipment:

"Sometimes you can come up on a tractor and you think, boy this is the last thing I need. I'm late for an appointment. What's he even doing on the road? There are some cases where it's unavoidable for farm equipment to be on the road. In those cases, we would just like motorists to be thankful that Oregon farmers are producing food for them and just help them a little bit and be patient as they are moving equipment." :22

audio file

Additional audio: Audio 04
COBA says it isn't only farm vehicles that motorists need to look out for, but livestock as well- especially in the open range areas of rural Oregon:

"Motorists are careful when they are going over mountain passes looking for deer and elk. They need to be thinking about the same thing when they are in range land and looking out for cattle or horses or what have you." :11

audio file

Full story