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24 May 2017 - Time for the Safety Sermon

For the past several years, when the month of May arrives, I receive a note from a farm lady in North Dakota who wants to remind me I cannot talk enough about safety on the farm and in rural communities. She reminds me that it’s time for my annual sermon about Safety on Country Roads ahead of this first long summer holiday weekend.

So, here it is - First of all, a bit of advice to our friends in towns and cities who look at this weekend as an opportunity to get out of the city for the first time this season to explore the countryside. By all means, we love to have you do that. There is a lot to see and do in the country, from watching fruit trees come alive, to calves being born, to baby chicks being hatched and a multitude of hometown festivals.

But there is a major concern for farmers and their families. With the very wet spring many farmers will be working this weekend, still trying to catch up with planting and in many cases, re-planting drowned-out fields. This means there will be heavy farming equipment such as tractors, planters and tillage tools on rural roads and highways. Let me remind you one more time, this slow-moving vehicle has a legal right to be on the road, but it is probably traveling at a maximum of 25 mph or less. In your automobile, you are probably going
50-60 mph. You go over a hill or around a curve and suddenly there is a tractor and corn planter in front of you and you have nowhere to go.

Over the years there have been way too many stories we have shared, collisions with automobiles and farm equipment. I don’t think I have seena story yet where the car driver is uninjured or even survives because that is some pretty solid equipment they are running into when they hit that farm implement. Unfortunately, the driver of the farm equipment also gets injured or worse. And a note to our farmers. Make sure all your safety equipment is in place and working, especially the flasher lights and Slow Moving Vehicle Emblem. And if the line of traffic behind you gets too long, be a good neighbor and pull off to the side of the road and let them pass.

So please, listen to this sermon - enjoy the countryside, drive slowly enough to enjoy it and avoid hitting any farmers who are on the road driving slow moving farm equipment.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.