It's almost field preparation season -- and that means motorists and farmers alike need to be alert in the coming weeks.
"Most people in the rural communities know it's the beginning of the farming season and that they need to watch out for farm machinery on the roads," said Lt. George Schneider of the Indiana State Police Putnamville District. "We like to put out reminders about farming season like we do for the opening day of school. It's not just for the drivers; it also reminds farmers to make sure their slow-moving vehicles are marked and things like that."
Those who live in rural areas may also want to give themselves more time to reach their destinations during field preparation season, as large farm equipment may be on the roads and could impede traffic.
Here are some tips for farmers from the ISP to assist in making field preparation season safer:
* Have all lighting and placards on equipment as required by law.
* When parking equipment along the road while in the field, make sure it is going to be visible even if it is still there after dark.
* Pull to the side of the road and let traffic pass is three or more vehicles are behind you.
* Do not drive equipment on state and federal highways during rush hours.
* Avoid leaving anhydrous ammonia tanks unlocked or unattended.
These tips are for motorists:
* Be patient when driving behind farm equipment. Do not pass unless you are certain you have enough time.
* When farm equipment is approaching from the opposite direction, pull to the right and let it pass, especially on narrow roads.