Driving near farm tractors: rules of the road - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Driving near farm tractors: rules of the road

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ROBERSONVILLE, N.C. - As the farming season picks up, you may have seen an increase in the number of large farm tractors out on the roadway.

But the combination of fast cars and slower tractors can be a dangerous mix.

"They'll just blow right by you while you're trying to turn," said Josh Roberson, a local farmer.

Roberson says he regularly drives his tractor along the highway. He also says he's had close calls with cars that are too aggressive.

"If people would just slow down and give us some extra room, we'll let you by. There's enough room for everybody, but people have to have some patience," he said.

Recently, a car ran into the back of a tractor in Tyrrell County, something highway officials say was caused by the driver not paying attention.

"If someone's approaching them, they should reduce their speed," said Trooper Doug Coley. "But the farm tractor has to abide by the rules of the road just like the car would."

Trooper Coley said tractors that are large than one lane must have an escort vehicle along with appropriate warning flags and lights.

Recently, the DOT made changes to allow farm tractors on select highways, like U.S. 264 and U.S. 64, where the speed is 70 MPH. But Roberson says large tractors often can't go more than 35 MPH.

Some drivers say they drive differently when they are near tractors.

"I let them go by, or I go by," said Berkley Worrell. "I don't drive next to them."

Farmers say the unusually cool winter has pushed back their planting season. Roberson says many farmers may be hitting the road now to prepare their crops.

"The farmers are eager to get everything done. They're probably running behind just like we are," Roberson said. "So we're in a hurry just like everybody on the road is in a hurry, and it could cause some problems."

To learn more about the rules of the road involving farm tractors, visit the DOT's website.

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