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Rural road safety meeting scheduled

April 22, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

A Franklin County farm will be the site of a meeting on rural road safety Saturday morning.

At Ricecrest Farm near Duffield, Pa., Rural Road Safety Week will be recognized with a resolution from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and a display of some large farm implements, according to Fred Rice of Ricecrest.

"We'll talk about some issues of going down the road," he said.

The safety week is observed at this time of year to call attention to farmers using public roads to move spring planting machinery, Rice said.

"Drivers need to pay attention on rural roads," he said. Some corn planting equipment is very wide, and moving it from farm to farm on public roads can be challenging, Rice said.

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One of his farm implements is 14 feet wide, he said, and "that's as wide as you want to get on the road."

Machinery that is wider than 14 feet must be folded up to travel on the road.

When hauling something that wide on the road, "you have to pull off when you meet traffic," he said. "You should have someone ahead of you with a two-way radio to tell you when traffic is coming. If not, you are taking a chance."

In 2003, there were 87 accidents in Pennsylvania involving farm implements and passenger vehicles, according to information from Gerald Reichard of Shippensburg (Pa.) Young Adult Farmer's Association.

Franklin County recorded five accidents involving farm implements and passenger vehicles. Many accidents between farm equipment and automobiles occur as a result of a left-hand turn. The size of some farm equipment may necessitate wide left-hand turns.

When farm equipment operators must move to the right before executing a turn to the left, drivers may mistake this movement as a gesture to let them pass. As the automobile driver accelerates to pass and the farm equipment operator begins to make the turn, the vehicles collide.

The free event will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. and is sponsored by the Farm Bureaus of Franklin and Fulton counties, and the Shippensburg Young Adult Farmer's Association. Anyone is welcome.

To get to the farm from U.S. 30, turn right on to Mont Alto Road and travel to the four-way stop sign at Duffield. Turn right and veer to the immediate left on to New Franklin Road. Continue on New Franklin Road and turn left onto Church Road. Ricecrest Farm is on the first farm lane to the left.

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