MISSOURI (KFVS) - Officials with the MSHP would like motorists to be aware of a recent change in law that affects motorists during the upcoming and future harvest seasons.
In the past, most agricultural equipment was not allowed on the roadway during periods of darkness. With the recent passage of Senate Bill 8, however, agricultural implements and similar equipment will be allowed to be move on Missouri roadways for short distances during periods of darkness, if they are equipped with the proper lighting.
Agricultural equipment operated during the times when lighted lamps are required must be equipped with at least one lighted lamp or lantern exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the front of the vehicle, and with a lamp or lantern exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear. Those lamps and lanterns should exhibit light to the sides of the such vehicle. "Slow moving vehicle" emblems are still required to be displayed.
The following are reminders for safe travel when agriculture equipment is on the roadway during periods of darkness:
* Stay alert for slow moving farm equipment and oversize loads when traveling in farming areas, especially during periods of darkness and where your view is obstructed by hills or curves.
* Be patient when traveling behind slow moving vehicles. Only pass when it is safe and your view is not obstructed by hills or curves.
* Watch for farm vehicles entering and leaving the highway from side roads, driveways, and field entrances.
* Collisions commonly occur when a motorist tries to pass a left-turning farm vehicle. A tractor that appears to be pulling to the right side of the road to let motorists pass, instead may be preparing to make a wide left turn.
Watch the farmer's hand signals and light signals closely.
* Make sure any farm equipment being driven or towed on Missouri roadways are properly marked with lights and a "slow moving vehicle" emblem.
* Be sure your lights are functioning properly.
* Be sure to clean your lights and reflective warning equipment before entering the roadway so they can be seen easily.
* Drive as far to the right as possible.
* If traffic accumulates behind you on a road where it is difficult to make a safe pass, you should pull off onto the side of the road in a level area, so the vehicles can pass.
* If you are traveling in areas where your vehicle could be obscured by the landscape or darkness, travel with an escort vehicle if possible.