Georgia State Patrol warns drivers of tractors on highways

Georgia State Patrol warns drivers of tractors on highways
Tractor traveling along a road

LEE CO., GA (WALB) - Farmers are planting their crops, and you’ve no doubt noticed more tractors on the roads.

But these slow moving vehicles can be difficult to look out for, especially in the early morning or late evening hours.

State troopers say the first thing you need to do when you see tractors driving along the road is slow down, because most tractors are slow moving traveling at 15 to 25 miles per hour, while the speed limit on many state highways can reach 65 miles per hour.

Robert Corbin, GSP Trooper, Post 40
Robert Corbin, GSP Trooper, Post 40

Troopers say patience is key for drivers.

According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, in 2016 there were nearly 550 collisions with farm and construction equipment in Georgia.

That number is, sadly, on the rise. A state trooper says tractor drivers don’t have a great sense of observation from the cab of the tractor, making it more difficult for them to see cars and trucks behind or next to them.

These vehicles are required to have a reflective, orange triangle on the back to warn drivers.

“Whenever you see a symbol like this basically it means it’s a slow moving vehicle. This symbol can be on a tractor, it can be on trailers, anything agriculture, anything that’s slow moving," explained Robert Corbin, a Trooper with GSP Post 40.

Tractors can only travel to up to about 25 miles per hour (Source: WALB)
Tractors can only travel to up to about 25 miles per hour (Source: WALB)

As for tractor drivers, at night or in these early morning hours, it’s best to have a pilot car or truck following the tractor to warn other drivers.

If you are driving too fast, a crash is possible, and you or the driver of the tractor can face charges.

Tractor drivers do not have to have a Georgia license to operate their vehicle.

It’s recommended they have some form of ID on them, but the person behind the wheel of the tractor may not be familiar with all driving laws.

“An individual driving a vehicle, they should automatically think first off... the tractor’s going slow, or the trailer’s going slow. The second thing they should think about-- is he going to turn into this field?” said Corbin.

He reminds everyone to buckle your seat belt, put down your phone, and pay attention on your early morning commute.

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