Harvest season in Iowa

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You know it by its beauty, the rows of golden corn stalks against the bright

blue sky which the next day are rows of golden stubble against the deep,

dark earth, or the fullness of the bright yellowgreen in the soybean fields.

It is, indeed, a pretty time of year. It's also a dangerous time of year.

Already this fall there have been accidents reported on Iowa's roadways between slow-moving tractors and wagons and motor vehicles.

It happens every year; it's nothing new.

Still, it really doesn't need to happen if we all become just a little more

aware and drive just a little more safely. Driver error - usually carelessness - is the leading cause for most traffic accidents. And with the advent of cell phones and fast food dining as we drive, distracted drivers are known to cause more than half the number of traffic accidents that injure and/or kill those involved, to say nothing of the millions of dollars lost in property damage.

Once harvest starts, farm equipment is on the road. The tractors, trailers,

wagons, combines, and farm trucks are on the highways, on the blacktops, on the gravels, and even on the city streets. They need to be. It's just that those of us

not in tractors and trailers and the heavy farm trucks full of corn and

beans have to remember firstly, that they're there; and, secondly, that they

move slowly.

Most we've seen have had the Slow Moving Vehicle SMV sign and the

appropriate lights; but they're still there -- anytime in the day or night--

and they're still moving slowly. Drivers need to remember that and react


Oh, by way of a gentle harvest reminder, they make wide turns, too.

The truth is, not very many people go the 55 speed limit on the blacktops; and even at 55, a car comes up on farm equipment pretty fast.

Please remember that. And let's all make sure to be careful out there.