Rural Roads and Slow-Moving Vehicles (Sample News Release)

Farmers must make sure that they display the Slow Moving Vehicle emblem on the rear of any piece of machinery traveling on a public road. A 1970 OSHA law requires it. The law applies to agricultural and industrial vehicles that are required under the circumstances to travel 25 miles per hour or less. New York State has adopted the SMV emblem as part of its Motor Vehicle law.

Studies have revealed that an effective slow moving vehicle emblem can prevent highway accidents. The SMVs are visible to other motorists nearly 300 feet sooner than a red flag when placed on the rear of slow moving farm equipment.

Avoid using SMVs for purposes other than described. If such emblems are used as driveway markers or as stationary reflectors, it will confuse the motorist about the true meaning of a slow moving vehicle emblem.

The fluorescent orange triangular center of the emblem makes it highly visible, even in the fading late afternoon and evening light when the chance of an accident is greatest.

At night, vehicle headlights make the reflective red border become a hollow red triangle which makes the slow moving vehicle more visible.

In fact, this emblem serves as an early warning signal to drivers, allowing them time to reduce their speed and avoid the possibility of a rear-end collision.

Farmers must make sure that they have SMV emblems properly placed on all farm equipment that use public roads. They should be positioned near the middle of the machine, two to six feet above the ground with the point at the top. It is also important that these emblems be updated periodically since faded emblems are less likely to be visible. Under normal conditions, an emblem can be expected to last 2 to 3 years. Low-quality emblems tend to fade more rapidly, so it is best to purchase emblems that are stamped with an American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) certification number S276.3

If you haven't inspected the SMV emblems on your equipment lately, it's time you do!

Marylee Hill, Agricultural Injury and Illness Surveillance Nurse, NYCAMH.

This public service announcement was produced by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), One Atwell Road, Cooperstown, New York 13326 - Ph# (607) 547-6023 or (800) 343-7527 in the northeast. Publication date: 1994.

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More