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N.C. Farm Bureau, N.C. Department of Transportation and N.C. State Highway Patrol have launched a tractor safety billboard campaign last week that urges motorists to slow down if they encounter a tractor on the road. The campaign highlights N.C. Department of Transportation’s implementation of a new farm machinery warning sign depicting a modern tractor that better represents today’s agriculture.

“Throughout the year and across the state, our farmers will plant and harvest crops that will feed families in both urban and rural areas,” North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten said. “Whether they’re traveling a mile on (N.C.) 264 in the morning or crossing (N.C.) 70 in the afternoon, farmers will inevitably have to share the highway with motorists. As the state’s largest non-profit farm organization, we ask that if you see a tractor, slow down and share the road with farmers. Besides, it’s their lives and their livelihood.”

The campaign is funded by N.C. Farm Bureau. No taxpayer funds are being used to design or purchase billboards.

“This campaign is a reminder that our highway system is vital to our way of life. We use our roads for many things, including traveling to work, to play, and to live our lives,” said Kevin Lacy, who is a NCDOT State Traffic Engineer. “The men and women who grow and produce our food depend on these same roads. It is important to our families as well as the farmers and their families to pay special attention around these vehicles. This campaign helps remind us all to share the road with our farmers.”

Colonel Bill Grey, who is the commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, said, “Agriculture plays a vital role in North Carolina’s history, identity and economy. Safety is essential to both drivers and farmers sharing the road – especially on rural highways. The Highway Patrol encourages everyone traveling in and near farming communities to stay alert for slow moving farm equipment. Be patient when you come up behind a tractor or other farm machinery and wait to pass until you have a clear view of the road ahead. Last year, there were a total of 146 traffic crashes involving farm equipment resulting in one death and 31 injuries. Our ultimate goal is to provide a safe driving environment for all motorists who share North Carolina highways.”