Be Safe and Be Seen – Rural Road Safety

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From spring to fall, Alberta farmers and ranchers are busy in the fields. This means an increase in slow-moving equipment on rural roads, which can create a hazard.

Remember to share the road. Be safe and be seen.


• Avoid high traffic times, busy roads, bad weather and night driving.

• Make sure all warning flashers, flags, lights and slow-moving vehicle (SMV) emblems are clean, visible and working properly.

• Use reflective tape and reflectors on equipment edges.

• Watch for passing vehicles when making left turns.

• Plan ahead — always use hand or turn signals.

• Slow for sharp curves and hills.

• Avoid overhead powerlines.

• Consider using a pilot vehicle.

• Stay alert for hazards such as soft shoulders, narrow bridges, loose gravel, bumps, potholes and deep ruts.

• Pull over to allow traffic to pass, if road and shoulder conditions are safe.

• Walkabout: adjust mirrors for good vision, maintain proper tire pressure, check hitch connections, check the load to ensure it is secure, balanced and equipped with brakes, check trailer doors are securely locked, and lock tractor brake pedals together.

• Obey all traffic safety laws. Always drive defensively.


• Be aware of slow-moving farm machinery. The typical speed of a piece of farm machinery is 30-40 km/hour. You need to slow down to react! Be patient.

• Watch for vehicles marked with slow-moving vehicle signs (a bright orange triangle with a red border) and flashing amber lights.

• Equipment is large and may take up more than one lane.

• Do not drive in equipment blind spots where operators cannot see you. Keep back a safe distance — at least 50 feet, when following.

• Never assume. Watch for hand signals. Just because a tractor veers right does not mean the operator is pulling over for you to pass.

• Be aware of intersections where farm equipment might turn. Also, equipment might unexpectedly turn onto a public road from a field or driveway.

• Do not expect equipment to run partly on the road shoulders. Farm machinery operators will stay on roadways whenever possible.

Be Seen and Be Safe Road Safety Tips

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