Farm machinery, caution

Drivers on county roads may be noticing some new signs in rural areas this fall.

The signs – which show a picture of a tractor and state “Farm machinery, caution” – are a project of Seneca County Farm Bureau.

“It’s designed to increase awareness of farm machinery on a rural roadways and help promote safety,” said Darren Frank, organization director for Farm Bureau in Seneca, Hancock, Hardin and Wyandot counties. “This is not the first time we put these signs up. We did it several years ago.”

Fifty signs are being placed on Seneca County roads, while Hancock County is erecting 75 and Hardin County 30.

The number of signs varies because of funds available, she said. Each sign costs $30, which is being paid by Farm Bureau.

“But when we solicited members for donation, we have gotten a few donations,” she said.

Frank said the program came about as a request from a resident in Hancock County.

“It was really important to the board that we do this,” she said.

Seneca County has some of the highest fatality rates from vehicle accidents in Ohio, she said, so the more aware drivers are, the better.

The engineers in the three counties have been supplying labor, hardware and posts.

The local Farm Bureau office is working with the office of County Engineer Mark Zimmerman to erect the signs.

“They have been great working with us,” Frank said. “They’re mostly on county roads because we haven’t gone through ODOT to put them on state roads.”

County employees started placing signs two or three weeks ago.

“They know the importance of getting them up before harvest,” she said.

While on the subject of farm safety, Frank suggested farmers check the reflectivity of their slow-moving-vehicle signs.

“We want to remind the farmers to make sure their SMVs are updated and properly displayed,” she said. “They do fade over time.”

She said the triangular signs should be red with orange in the center. Farmers who have old or

faded signs can buy new ones at the Farm Bureau office.

Also, Frank noted sometimes people use SMV signs incorrectly by placing them as driveway markers or other inappropriate places.