Farmers: take part in a free, farm vehicle safety check at our Farm Safety Day on Friday, August 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside the Moyer Recreation Centre at #4-54569 Range Road 215, Josephburg. Lamont County and Strathcona County are happy to partner with our farming communities to showcase the importance of safety while we work.
Bring your farm trucks and trailers to our free farm vehicle inspection to avoid any on-highway problems. Stop by to see an inspection in progress, or enjoy refreshments throughout the day or BBQ at lunch. Owners of inspected farm vehicles will have the chance to enter a draw for two tickets for Josephburg Presents, donated by Strathcona County Councillor Paul Smith.
This event, proudly supported by Beaver Creek Co-Op, Crop Management Network Inc. and Joburg Aggregates Ltd, will also feature information and demonstrations from various County departments, including Emergency Services and Transportation and Agriculture Services.
Enforcement Services will be inspecting vehicles on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wait times may vary, due to vehicle size and number of participants. In compliance with Alberta laws, a farm vehicle is subject to the same vehicle equipment regulations as any other commercial vehicle. We want to ensure our farmers and ranchers are not going to be stuck on the highway due to a mechanical breakdown – or worse yet, involved in a collision because of equipment failure.
The Farm Vehicle Safety Day aims to increase agricultural industry vehicle safety education and awareness. Violation tickets will not be issued. Our Enforcement Services Commercial Vehicle Inspectors will be conducting safety inspections under the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. If safety violations are located, they will be noted on a vehicle inspection report and repair instructions will be provided. Please note, if our inspectors locate an out of service defect that is an immediate public safety concern, repairs on site will be required.
Watch out for agricultural equipment on roads and highways
Farmers use a variety of machinery for various agricultural operations. Today’s farmer may have fields in several locations, resulting in having to cross public roads with large machinery. Being safety minded is the best insurance against risk. According to Canadian Agriculture Injury Surveillance, 13 per cent of farm-related fatalities are traffic-related.
Typical circumstances of a collision involving farm equipment are left-turn collisions, rear-end collisions and passing collisions.
Defensive driving tips for motorists
- Be alert – Watch for farm vehicles on rural roads.
- Keep your distance – Stay at least 15 metres or five car-lengths back.
- Slow down – As soon as you see a slow-moving vehicle, slow down immediately.
- Be patient.
- Don’t assume a farm vehicle is pulling right to let you pass. Check the left side of the road for gates, driveways or any place a farm vehicle might turn left.
- Don’t assume the farmer can move aside to let you pass.
- Don’t pass until the road is clear of traffic and you are positive it is safe to pass.
- Make sure you’re clear – When passing, make sure you can see the farm vehicle in your rear-view mirror before you change back into the right lane.
Enjoy the drive! Following a farm vehicle usually takes just a few minutes. Don’t let frustration lead you to make a decision that may cause you and others harm.
This column was written and provided by Michael Bjornson, Strathcona County Enforcement Services peace officer.