KHP urges drivers to use extra caution during harvest on Kansas roads

The Kansas Highway Patrol urges drivers to use extra caution on Kansas roadways during harvest...
The Kansas Highway Patrol urges drivers to use extra caution on Kansas roadways during harvest season.(WGEM)
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 4:22 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Highway Patrol urges drivers to use extra caution on Kansas roadways during harvest season.

Kansas Highway Patrol officials said it’s a busy time for farmers in Kansas with fall harvest underway. The KHP wants to remind drivers to use caution and patience when traveling near farm trucks, tractors, combines and other farm implements.

“As the busy farming season is underway, each traveler in Kansas needs to be more aware of increased farm implement and truck traffic,” said Captain Candice Breshears, KHP Public Information Officer. “In Kansas, we have many trucks exiting and entering the roadways at any given time. Traveling around these vehicles requires extra caution.”

KHP officials indicated most farm equipment is not designed to travel at highway speeds and may only travel 15 to 25 miles per hour. Farm equipment is often wider than the lane of traffic so extra room should be allowed when sharing the road. Caution should be practiced on all roads, but especially on busy rural roads with unmarked intersections.

KHP officials shared a few tips to keep in mind when driving around farm trucks and equipment.

KHP officials said don’t assume the farmer knows you are there. Most farmers regularly check for vehicles behind them, but most of their time must be spent looking forward to stay on the road and watching for oncoming traffic. Implements are very loud, hindering their ability to hear your vehicle.

In addition, KHP officials indicated to pass with extreme caution. Don’t pass unless you can see clearly ahead of both your vehicle and the equipment you are passing. If there are curves or hills blocking your view, wait until you can clearly see the area you are passing. You should not pass in a designed “No Passing Zone,” even if you are stuck behind a farm vehicle. Do not pass if you are within 100 feet of any intersection, railroad grade crossing, bridge, elevated structure or tunnel.

KHP officials said when a farm vehicle pulls to the right side of the road, it does not mean it is turning right or allowing you to pass. Due to the size of the farm equipment, the farmer must execute wide left turns so allow it plenty of room and time to turn. Be alert to see if they might be turning into a driveway or field.

KHP officials reminds drivers to be patient. Don’t assume that a farmer can move aside to let you pass. Shoulders may be soft, wet or steep, which can cause the farm vehicle to tip or the shoulder may not support the weight of a heavy farm vehicle. They understand you are being delayed and will move over at the first safe location available.

According to KHP officials, think of the slow-moving vehicle emblem as a warning to adjust your speed. Immediately slow down when you see the slow-moving vehicle emblem. While the emblems are visible from a long distance, it is difficult to judge the speed at which you are closing in on the vehicle, especially at night.

Lastly, KHP officials noted to pay attention. When not focusing solely on the road, drivers increase their chances of a collision, especially if you should come upon a slow-moving farm vehicle.