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Sheriff reminds motorists of spring hazards ADVERTISEMENT

Sheriff reminds motorists of spring hazards

FINGER LAKES--On rural roads, does less traffic mean fewer hazards? According to Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike, special rural hazards exist, especially in the springtime when slow moving vehicles (SMV) like farm machinery and agriculture equipment are using the roadways to get to fields for plowing, cultivating and planting. These slow movers bear the bright orange/red reflective triangle that is an indication of traveling less than 25 miles per hour.
In addition, if the SMV can travel between 25 and 40 mph it also must have a speed indication symbol (SIS) emblem.
According to the sheriff, motorists need to understand the importance of sharing the road with this equipment that is traveling at a slower pace. Typically, rear-end collisions can occur when a car encounters an SMV from behind, and the motor vehicle driver fails to perceive the "closure collision time," causing a dangerous situation to occur.
Eighty percent of SMV collisions occur in daylight hours from behind. A motorist traveling at 55 mph, approaching a farm tractor traveling at 15 mph, takes only seven seconds to travel 400 feet and collide. Farm tractors, farm equipment and animal-drawn vehicles (buggy), as well as bicycles cannot easily maneuver out of the way of traffic, or speed up like motor vehicles can.
Motorists need to immediately slow down when encountering the SMV triangle symbol and be alert for unexpected turns into a field. Do not pass until it is safe and legal to do so.
Additionally, motorists need to be aware that distracted driving has become a major issue nationwide, and the risk increases in rural areas when encountering an SMV.
"When traveling across rural New York state this spring, we encourage motorists to slow down when approaching farm equipment and all SMVs," added Sheriff Spike.

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