Seward's Farm Safety Bill Ratified

James L. Seward

June 19, 2007

The state senate has approved legislation filed by Senator James L. Seward designed to decrease farm equipment-auto accidents in New York.

Senate bill 2180 requires all farm machinery, whether self-propelled or towed implements, to display the slow-moving vehicle emblem (fluorescent orange triangle) and those with headlights to use them from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and during periods of low visibility.

"The legislation was drafted in response to a tragic and fatal accident in my district involving a passenger vehicle and a tractor hauling a manure spreader. Because the manure spreader was not required to display any lights or the slow-moving vehicle emblem, the driver was unable to see the machine in front of him until it was too late," Seward said. "The bill approved by the senate will improve safety for motorists and farmers alike."

Currently, the slow-moving vehicle emblem is required to be displayed on either the machine or the towed implement of husbandry, not both, and lights on agricultural equipment are required to be displayed from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise.

The state will also have to develop and disseminate information on roadway safety pertaining to farm tractors and farm equipment.

"This is a common sense proposal, backed by the Farm Bureau, that will increase the visibility of farm equipment on our roadways and will prevent tragedies such as the one that occurred in my district," Seward said.

It is pending in the assembly as A.5023-A, sponsored by Assemblyman Magee.