Help protect the lives of motorists and farmers
According to numerous reports around the State, Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) signs have been placed at the end of driveways or along the side of the road to mark entrances. Maryland Farm Bureau would like to remind the public that the orange, six-sided triangular Slow Moving Vehicle signs are intended ONLY for vehicles moving at a slow pace, like most farm equipment. These signs are NOT permitted to be placed along roadways, near driveways or for other purposes.
Maryland Transportation Code 21-805 states that SMV signs are only for use on vehicles that move slower than 25 miles per hour. This important hazard prevention instrument protects the operators of slow moving equipment by warning other motorists as they approach from behind. The use of SMV signs on the road or on a vehicle that moves faster than 25 miles per hour is illegal.
“It is an important safety measure for drivers in Maryland to recognize the sign when it is properly affixed to a tractor or other farm equipment,” stated the St. Mary’s County Farm Bureau President, Jamie Raley. “Display of these signs anywhere other than farm vehicles is a violation of the transportation law.”
Farm Bureau members have also observed SMV signs on the back of trailers that are pulled down the highway at posted speeds, or as reflectors on fences and poles along roadways. This defeats the purpose of the signs because motorists become confused as to the true meaning of the SMV sign.
“Please help protect the men and women who work hard every day to produce your food, fuel and fiber by not placing SMV signs where they do not belong,” said Maryland Farm Bureau President Chuck Fry, “especially during this harvest season when there are more combines and farm trucks on the roads.”
Sharing the road with motorists unfamiliar with large, slow-moving farm equipment makes for a very dangerous situation. According to the National Safety Council, accidents involving a farm vehicle are five times more likely to produce a fatality than any other type of motor vehicle accident. Maryland farmers are taking every safety precaution available to protect motorists and themselves while traveling in equipment on the roads, including SMV signs, flashing lights and raising all equipment attachments.
If you currently have a SMV sign at the end of your driveway or on a vehicle that moves faster than 25 miles per hour, please consider removing the sign and replacing it with reflective strips/tape, circular metal signs or yellow diamond signs available for purchase at www.Grainger.com or at your local hardware store.